Arizona-band Jimmy Eat World put the Christmas in KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2016 when they played a cover of Wham's "Last Christmas" to the delight of fans at The Forum arena last night. Coming in the middle of an energetic set and a night largely filled with emo-rock from AFI to X Ambassadors and headliners, Blink 182 - the song struck a chord with folks in Christmas hats, happy to indulge in a little pop nostalgia and eager to let the holiday season begin.
The band had originally covered the Eighties hit on their fourth album, Bleed American which was released back in 2001. Of course, it was the power-pop of "The Middle" also from the same album, that prompted the biggest response from the crowd. With a catchy chorus of sheer optimism, everyone sang along “It just takes some time/Little girl you’re in the middle of the ride/ Everything, everything will be just fine .”
Jimmy Eat World have long been the emo-core band that pulled away from the pack and achieved mainstream success. With their ninth album Integrity Blues, they signal a return of Nineties alt-rock. The renewed interest in Jimmy Eat World has also a lot to do with an iTunes commercial released in March this year. It featured Taylor Swift lip-syncing the song with lipstick in hand, in front of a mirror. Swift admits in the ad, it was a song she listened to in Middle School. She has even appeared on stage with frontman, Jim Adkins singing the hit.
Other songs in their set that stood out include "Pain", "Get Right" and “You Are Free”. The latter also from the new album has Adkins characteristic simplicity of lyrics and a message that resonates. “Honey you are free, as much as you can stand to be," worthy of a new generation of Swift wanna-be's.
Jimmy Eat World are currently on tour in the US. KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas continues tonight with Phantogram, Beck and Green Day.