Jimmy Eat World at the Nike U.S. Open Of Surfing on Friday Night

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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Jimmy Eat World
August 5, 2011
Nike U.S. Open Of Surfing

You know you're a true Jimmy Eat World fan when you arrive at the arena at least three hours prior to their performance, and put up with constant mosh pits, crowd surfing, fights, and last but not least the smell of marijuana that makes it hard to breathe when the wind doesn't blow, and gives a whole new meaning to hot boxing.

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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

It wasn't even 5:30 p.m., which was the scheduled time for the concert, and the fans were already screaming, "Jimmy!" through the pot smoke puffs, although they were still entertained with Los Angeles' very own Dead Country, who had just come back from tour and opened for J.E.W. an hour before.

Finally, Rick (bass), Tom (guitar), Zach (drums), and Jim (vocals) went on stage and said, "Good afternoon! We're Jimmy Eat World from Arizona! How are you doing?" This was the most Jim said throughout the performance, other than the occasional, and sometimes awkward, "thank you," after which he'd rush to switch guitars and basses as did Tom and Rick, who were casually dressed with flannels and jeans, accessorized with shades that looked like aviators from the distance.

During the performance of "My Best Theory," from the 2010 album Invented, at least 60 people, guys and girls, crowd surfaced from the back to the front row, in hopes to get closer to the band, but failed and ended up getting kicked out of the arena by the security guards, who brutally grabbed them by the back of their necks and pushed them, just like they did with those who kept mosh-pitting and throwing water bottles at the band.

Even though Jim was a bit off pitch while singing "Pain," from the 2004 album Futures, and "Dizzy," from the 2007 album Chase This Light, the fans didn't seem to care and continued to sing along and asked Jim to take his shirt off.


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Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

For a few minutes, things slowed down and became calm while the lead singer played "Evidence," from the album Invented, which led to a massive human wave raising their hands and tossing them from left to right. But it all sped up again, and the crowd went wild as soon as he said, "It's a party now!"

Of course, the performance was not completed until they played their famous hit "The Middle," from their 2001 album Bleed American. This was the highlight of the entire evening because it was the song that most people in the crowd knew, and it was also the moment that made the eager fans jam and sing with all their energy until Jim briefly said farewell, told them to "stay safe," and quickly exited the stage. Maybe we will see more of that energy at future Jimmy Eat World performances.

Critic's Bias: "The Middle" is one of the top three most played songs on my iTunes library.

The Crowd: Despite the cool ocean breeze, from the front row in the arena to a few feet behind the bleachers, the tanned crowd remained shirtless (except for the girls sporting bikinis), so for two miles, it looked like everyone was almost naked on the beach.

Overheard in the Crowd:
"Take it off, Jimmy!"

"Huntington loves you, Jimmy!"

"We came all the way from Norway, escaping from the bombs, and Jimmy saved us!"

"Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!"

"Oh My God! They're playing 'The Middle!' That's like the only song I know. I'm glad we stayed!"

"I just want attention!"

"Tom! Tom! Tom!"

"I swear I'm going to kick that bitch's ass if she crowd surfs and lands on me again! I'm not even kidding!"

"This is awesome! It's fucking crazy!"

Random notebook dump: A guy asked me if I wanted to smoke marijuana with him, and right after I declined his kind offer, the cops came and arrested him.


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