|Iron Maiden shirt? Confirmed for AWESOMENESS|
The House of Blues in Las Vegas is a weird venue. It's actually inside the Mandalay Bay casino so right off the bat, you know there's some kind of spacial limitations going on. The venue/musical hall is below the restaurant in a large hallowed out bat cave that somehow is actually bigger than the House of Blues Anaheim. Yeah, weird. I've seen Lamb of God demolish a near sold out house, and Mastodon perform to like a handful of people inside this same venue and tonight's Jimmy Eat World gig was a mix of the two. People tend to think of Las Vegas as some kind of huge metropolis but in reality, it's not that big of a town. The turn out was good but not as large as a show in LA.
The crowd filtered in as opening act Matt Pond (and friends) played some upbeat indie/folk rock. Not too shabby, it was hardly amazing either but I did enjoy a few of their songs. The loyal JEW fans, and a small group of Jersey Shore dudes visiting The Strip who must have gotten lost, waited eagerly for Jim and co. to take the stage. Luckily, we didn't have to wait long. Despite being in Sin City, this was a super early show and the band begin their headlining set around 8 pm!
Jimmy Eat World are such a solid band. I know, their music isn't overtly complex with crazy time signatures and jazz breaks thrown in but still, they're just really tight and locked in. I guess being a band for 20 years well do that to you. They played new stuff off Damage which sounded just as good as on the album but with Jim making some crazy faces and contorting his body around before your eyes, making it extra cool. We made our way to the very front of floor, about second row right before the stage. That would have never happened if we went to their gig at The Palladium. Watching the band crank out hit after hit ("Pain," "Big Casino," "Sweetness") from such proximity was almost surreal. Like my iPod merged with a 3D printer and brought them to life just for me. I'd say "Authority Song" and "23" were my favorite songs of the night. One being the very definition of good time pop-rock and the other, the most heartfelt shit you'll ever here. Good times with Jimmy Eat World. They do not disappoint live...ever.