OREM A veteran band from Arizona combined with one of the music industry's hottest newcomers for a loud, energetic show at the McKay Events Center Monday night.
Maybe it was partly because of the energy from the large, noisy crowd, that Jimmy Eat World gave one of the best performances of their past few Utah tour stops.
Opening with "Big Casino" from their latest CD, "Chase This Light," Jim Adkins, Tom Linton, Rick Burch and Zach Lind came out of the starting gates strong. The audience continued dancing and sang back to the band the chorus to "Sweetness" before pogo-ing along to "A Praise Chorus."
The upbeat start continued with "Crush" before the Jimmys slowed the tempo a bit with the crowd pleasing "Work."
"Always Be," another great new song off "Chase This Light," featured a guest appearance by Paramore's Hayley Williams whose vocals blended perfectly with Adkins.
While the band started well, they stumbled a bit in the middle of the set by playing a few too many B-sides, older and mid-tempo songs in a row that may have been a treat for longtime fans but seemed to sap some of the momentum built earlier. The slower "Dizzy" off the latest CD didn't work as well in concert. And songs like the heavy "Blister" and the lighter "Here It Goes" were good individually, but all three songs in a row didn't sustain the energy from the audience created at the start. It also didn't help that an overuse of strobe lights created moments of sensory overload.
The exception to the string of mid-tempo songs was the gem "Kill" off the "Futures" CD, a slower song that still works well on stage at any point of the concert.
The lull was temporary, however, and Jimmy Eat World finished the night as strong as they began with "Just Tonight," "Bleed American," "Pain," and ending the night with "a happy, little dance number," as Adkins called it, "The Middle."
Another reason Jimmy Eat World may have been on their A-game Monday was to avoid being overshadowed each night by opening band Paramore, a group that cites the Jimmys as one of their biggest influences.
The Tennessee-based pop-punk quartet, which is currently touring as quintet, proved the transition from outdoor Warped Tour festival stage to arena stage was no problem.
The firey red-hedaded Williams, who packs a lot of sass, energy and big vocals into her small frame, had the audience jumping and crowd surfing for an hour with "Born For This" and their big hits, "Crushcrushcrush" and "Misery Business." But it was the group's "other" songs that filled the rest of their set, such as "That's What You Get," "When It Rains" and "Pressure," that should make them a successful act at whatever arena or festival they want to play for years to come.