Clash of fans at Jimmy Eat World, Paramore concert


Paramore performed to a young crowd at Memorial Auditorium.:Courtesy of David Chernyavsky

Mikhail Chernyavsky

Wrapping around half a block, a line full of college students, teenyboppers, and their parents were waiting to enter Memorial Auditorium for what would be the most girl-filled concert I have ever attended.

On Wednesday Jimmy Eat World and Paramore performed to what seemed to be the oddest concert lineup due to the clash in fans. Paramore is a pop-punk band that, with the exception of a female lead singer, sounds like most mainstream pop-punk bands today. Jimmy Eat World originally started out in emocore and since has mellowed a bit into a more alternative band.

As I entered Memorial Auditorium I found myself in what had the formula for a great concert atmosphere. A lot of females + few males + alcohol + plus a good headliner band, carry the one and you have yourself a very merry time. Unfortunately you have to remember to solve for ‘x’, and in this case x = underage girls. And, jailbait is no good.

With the mere mention of Paramore, the crowd would cheer in an uproarious shout. As the lights went out, a sea of camera and cell phone screens came up instantly in hopes of capturing the band.

The band’s set began with a drum solo as a large sign of the bands name rose from behind. As soon as the band struck the first chords, the audience began to jump. With every pounce from the energetic fans the hardwood floor quickly transformed into an ocean’s wave.

I enjoy Paramore’s sophomore release “Riot!” but after the band left the stage I had my fix. I have no inclination to see them perform again. The light show was nothing impressive. The same cheap effects can be seen at smaller venues, like The Boardwalk. At those places the lights are suiting, but in a large venue, where the tickets went for $32.50, something a little more impressive is expected. And, I could have done without the blinding strobe lights. If I want a seizure I’ll watch a Japanese commercial.

The band’s performance was nothing impressive. The music sounded fine, but it takes more to express energy then jumping around on stage and banging your head. Although, Hayley Williams’ powerful vocals were very impressive live.

I did find Williams’ to be a bit pretentious. I can’t blame her; she’s young and has a very promising career ahead of her as a quickly rising front woman, something rarely seen. It seemed as if she was getting upset at times when the audience did not sing-along to the band’s old songs. And in part, that is the bands fault for playing songs from their old album. You are famous from “Riot!” Most fans at that show were young seventh and eighth graders, and high school underclassmen. They will eat up any mainstream artist labeled as “indie.” That’s why everyone went so crazy when the latest single “Misery Business” was played.

As Paramore finished and the house lights came up, a clash of fans hit each other like the front lines of two armies at war. As Paramore fans where rushing from the stage, Jimmy Eat World fans rushed towards it.

Minutes after set up, fog filled the stage, and the house lights came down once again to an uproarious cheer. And, the band broke out into “Big Casino.”

Fans sang-along, some jumped, and others simply stood there and enjoyed the music. What was a head-banging, mosh-pitting crowd only minutes prior, turned into a mellow, standing, listening crowd, with the occasional dancer spread throughout.

With the younger audience present, it was no surprise that Jimmy Eat World played songs primarily from its breakout album “Bleed American” and the new album “Chase This Light.”

Although I do enjoy both albums it was a little upsetting that the band pandered to the casual fans, and not its dedicated fans, as some were yelling for “23,” from Jimmy Eat World’s lesser known 2004 release “Futures,” the follow up to 2001’s “Bleed American.”

The band’s high-energy performance blew Paramore away. The combination of lights and fog, gave the band members a mystic ambiance, vanishing like shadows only to reappear with an explosion of lights.

As the band ended with “The Middle” all fans erupted into dancing and I found myself sucked into the middle of a mosh pit. Bouncing around in total chaos to the song I felt as if I was 14 again, when I first heard those words sung on the radio.

Jimmy Eat World held nothing back, and put on a great memorable show.

Mikhail Chernyavsky can be reached at [email protected]