|Jimmy Eat World
My journey towards a refreshing and rewarding
concert experience after a very long, stressful
week started at approximately 2:57 p.m.
in the afternoon when I sat down to wait in
line for Jimmy Eat World and Paramore, the
College Activities Board’s major spring concert.
In the three hours it took for the doors to open,
I witnessed the assassination of a bug named
Herbert, the delivery of a total of four pizzas,
a long detailed conversation on how RIT’s Gordon
Field House bathrooms rock, and the entrepreneurial
skills required in re-selling the previously-
ordered pizza. I could tell from that very
moment, as I attempted to solve this week’s Sudoku
(which I never did finish), that more than
60 percent of the audience was, in fact, female
(a reverse RIT situation indeed) and that
they were mostly high school-ers and
A few minutes after 6 p.m., I found myself inside
the field house and second row center.
I would like to tell you that I remained there
with the fantastic view for the rest of the night;
however, I would be lying. Ten minutes later,
a good friend called and my friend and I give up
our premium spot to sit with him. I bought two
t-shirts to ease my pain.
Dear and the Headlights
At around 7 p.m., the opening band, Dear and
the Headlights, took the stage, cranking out
tunes from their debut album, “Small Steps,
Heavy Hooves.” For those of you who have never
heard of them, they are an indie rock band from
Comprised of five active members, the band
features Ian Metzger on vocals and guitar,
Robert Cissell on guitar and keys, PJ Waxman
on guitar, Chuckie Duff on bass and Mark Kulvinskas
on drums. They have played a number
of shows and have accumulated a small
following while touring with Plain White Ts,
Mae, and Circa Survive. Currently, they are
signed under the indie label Equal Vision Records,
whose clients include Coheed and Cambria and
Saves the Day.
Their music had an ambient quality to it and
their lead vocalist’s style resembled that of The
Killers’ Brandon Flowers except with a rougher,
shakier quality. As they played through their set,
I can honestly say that I have never witnessed
anyone attempt to rock with an acoustic-electric
guitar the way Metzger did.
The most memorable portion of their performance
was when suddenly, in the middle of
their song “Paper Bag,” Hayley Williams, frontwoman
of Paramore, emerged from backstage
in her black hoodie, with her hands stuffed in
her pockets. The crowd erupted in cheers and
shouts as she sang along.
A few minutes before 8 p.m., while they were
setting up the stage, people started abandoning
their seats to join the ever-growing pit of people.
Some of my friends and I followed suit. We attempted
to inconspicuously weave through the
crowd for a better spot. When Paramore finally
took the stage with “Let The Flames Begin,”
the crowd surged forward.
At that moment, a random six foot tall dude who
was kind enough to let me stand in front of him,
told me to follow as he and three of his friends
parted the sea of people and cleared the way to
a closer position. I reached back and grabbed
my friend’s hand so that she could follow,
only to be pulled away by the undertow of bodies
crashing into each other. I never saw her
again that night.
We were packed like sardines and there were
moments when it felt like I could no longer
breathe; but that was the price to be paid for being
in the center of a rip-tide five rows from the
stage. That, however, did not take away from the
overall concert experience. In fact, the adrenaline
that came with it was quite euphoric.
The Tennessee natives radiated much energy.
You could see the enthusiasm as bassist Jeremy
Davis rocked to drummer Zac Farro’s steady yet
powerful beats, and as lead guitarist Josh Farro
nailed his simple-yet-melodic solos. Front woman
Williams had traversed almost every single
inch of the stage within the first few minutes,
head-banging, clapping, and dancing.
Their set list was comprised of newer and
popular titles such as “Pressure,” “Emergency,”
and “Crushcrushcrush,” and older favorites
such as “My Heart” and “Whoa!” the latter of
which Williams dedicated to “all the people too
cool to say ‘Whoa!’” during their earlier shows.
As it was one of their last songs, Williams attempted
to get everyone in the bleachers to
rise and take part, reasoning that she didn’t
“want to have to dedicate another song to [them]
one day.” Paramore ended their performance
with “Misery Business.” Many (myself included)
took this last chance to crowd-surf.
Jimmy Eat World
At this point, I decided to return to my friends
in the bleachers and watch the concert from
another perspective. Looking around, I realized
that I had never seen the field house so packed.
The standing crowd alone filled 70 percent of
the available floor space. At approximately
9:15 p.m., the lights went out, the background
image of Jimmy Eat World’s logo was revealed,
and they played their first chord.
Each band member grooved to their music
in his own way and the crowd reciprocated
by dancing, singing, and waving their arms
in the air. People crowd-surfed starting from
the very back and ending at the very front,
resembling tiny ants carrying food on their backs.
Even the people seated felt the energy of the music,
showing it in their own ways. Some tapped
their feet to the beat while others bobbed their
heads to the rhythm. Even a father accompanying
his 13-year-old daughter seemed to be
Jimmy Eat World’s set list varied from their
early, more popular songs to their latest releases.
When familiar songs such as “Sweetness,”
“Work,” “Bleed American” and especially
“The Middle” were played, the crowd sang along
so powerfully that at times, you could hear
it over the loud music. To add to the effect,
the backdrop and lighting were carefully
planned so that each song had a unique environment.
They changed so frequently that it
would have made a whole show of its own.
Even though I woke up with cuts and bruises in
strange places and a stiff neck caused by nearly
hitting the ground while crowd-surfing, that
night was still more entertaining than if I had
stayed home and fiddled with my computer all