On Wednesday, July 12, Jimmy Eat World (JEW) performed alongside Judah & the Lion and Incubus at Jiffy Lube Live as part of their 2017 summer tour, featuring Incubus as headliner.
The opener, Judah & the Lion, started the night off at 6:45 p.m., performing a solid 35/40-minute set before things transitioned to Jimmy Eat World at 7:30 p.m. JEW picked things up, keeping the concert going for a solid hour, prior to Incubus taking the stage.
Judah & the Lion rocked edgy, indie vibes in their set, fitting in with the atmosphere of the outdoor venue. They showed off their deep rock roots, showing that the band has a sound following Incubus’s footsteps.
With Judah & the Lion and Incubus as bands with an indie-rock sound, some might wonder how Jimmy Eat World fits into this tour as more of a pop-rock band. Jimmy Eat World does not have as much of an indie vibe as the other two touring, but they do have a slightly similar alternative sound. The key element bringing them together likely lies within what Jimmy Eat World and Incubus have in common commercially: at least one song that was a major radio hit. Both bands have notoriety on a similar level that makes sense for them to tour together, at least from an average observer’s point of view.
Jimmy Eat World began their set with the song “Sure and Certain” off of the band’s latest album, “Integrity Blues,” which, as mentioned in the interview with lead singer Jim Adkins, is a song he feels defines the band’s sound, so it is only fitting that it began their set. JEW then played other songs off of that album, as well as other classics such as “Always Be” from their album “Chase This Light,” and songs “Sweetness” and “Hear You Me” from their album “Bleed American.” As expected, the band closed their set with their biggest hit to date, “The Middle,” from “Bleed American.”
The show was a bit discombobulated, not at the bands’ fault, but more so due to the fact that these three bands deserved a show that was solely general admission (GA), because their upbeat set lists are not something fans should be sitting down for. The distant seating created a disconnect specifically between Judah & the Lion, Jimmy Eat World and fans because concert-goers were constantly walking to and from their seats and seats placed further back did not aid in establishing the artist/fan interaction that these groups encourage. Some fans luckily got tickets to the GA pit in front of the stage (and Incubus had a drawing for a side-stage experience), but further back fans were a bit at a loss. As it rounded in on Incubus’s closing set, things were a little better with everyone finally sticking to their seats, presumably due to Incubus being headliner.
Despite the chaos, this is generally expected with openers at huge venue/arena tours. For this genre, though, it just did not and does not generally work, which is a shame, considering all three bands deserve credit and have each earned their right to play at large-scale venues.
Yet, Incubus successfully closed out the night, throwing the audience back to the 90s with their video projection looking as if recorded on a VHS tape. The whole night gave a dose of music that loomed in the background of what is currently on the radio. The bands proved that the rock genre deserves respect and is not going anywhere.
Judah & the Lion, Jimmy Eat World, and Incubus continue this tour up until August 19. For tickets, check out www.jimmyeatworld.com.