Veterans of the early-00s emo/pop-punk scene Jimmy Eat World come to The National in support of their 10th album, which further proves that they’ve got what it takes to survive any flash-in-the-pan musical trend.
Dust off your Converse and grab your favorite hoodie, Richmonders. Pop-punk outfit Jimmy Eat World is making a pit stop in town this Tuesday at The National as part of their Surviving Tour and XL102’s Friendsgiving Show Series.
Originally based in Mesa, Arizona, Jimmy Eat World — Jim Adkins on lead guitar and vocals, Zach Lind on drums, Tom Linton on rhythm guitar, and Rick Burch on bass — originally got its kitschy name from a drawing. After a fight between Linton’s younger brothers, Jim and Ed, Ed drew a picture of Jim shoving the world in his mouth. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jimmy Eat World is undeniably best known for their fourth album, the certified-platinum Bleed American, which featured hits of your middle school youth like “The Middle” and “Sweetness.” If you thought that album was self-titled, you’re not losing your mind — it was actually known as Jimmy Eat World for seven years. This was due to a title change prompted by the September 11 attacks, which occurred seven weeks after its release.
The Surviving Tour will no doubt touch on a few of these jams of yore, but the tour is actually in support of their tenth studio record, Surviving, which was released on October 18th and features leadoff single “All The Way.”
The band’s previous album was Integrity Blues, their ninth, which was released in 2016 and featured the single “Get Right.” That album was the first released after bandleader and chief songwriter Jim Adkins sought treatment for alcohol abuse, and that action fueled the songs he wrote for Integrity Blues.
“Instead of writing about a problem, I wanted to write about a solution,” Adkins said of Integrity Blues in a 2016 statement. “If you look at your life for what’s going wrong, it won’t be too hard to find things. If you start looking at what you have rather than what you’re missing out on, you come away from things with a much different perspective that’s a lot more grateful and positive.”
Now six years sober, on Surviving Adkins is taking another look at the things that make him, and so many other people, feel trapped in their own unhappiness. “I think we’re much more likely to try to rationalize and justify our unhappiness instead of looking at what might be behind that and [taking] action,” he told Alternative Press. “Like I say in one of the songs, it’s the difference between surviving and really living.”
This kind of introspection and continued growth, not just musically but emotionally, is what makes Jimmy Eat World endure while many other pop-punk bands tend to scrape off or fade away like the bumper stickers we put on our cars a decade ago. They’ve grown and gotten better, aging like the finest wine. On Surviving, Jimmy Eat World proves that they’re here to stay.
Jimmy Eat World will be performing on Tuesday, November 19 at The National, with special guests Pronoun. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $29.50 in advance, and can be bought at the box office or at thenationalva.com.