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Jimmy Eat World throws Halloween performance for home state

Kill the lights. Cue the crazed laugh. Bring in Jimmy Eat World.

Enter a skeleton, grim reaper, werewolf, dead Little Bo Peep and vampire rocker. The aggressive melody of “Bleed American” fills the Marquee Theatre. Decked in Halloween attire, the boys of Jimmy Eat World with their guest keyboardist, Courtney Andrews, gave their sold out audience quite a show.

Hosting quite possibly the best Halloween party of the weekend, the stage was covered in a scene of cobwebs, ghouls and ghosts while the boys showcased songs from almost all of the band’s seven albums in their two-hour set. Each song, hit or not, had the entire crowd singing the lyrics back.

As the band wrapped up their upbeat tune “The Praise Chorus,” lead singer Jim Adkins could no longer take the heat inside his skeleton mask, ripping it off, something that drummer Zach Lind and bassist Rich Burch found issue with, keeping their full attire on the entire set. However, the crowd roared at the sight of the front man as he began their latest single “My Best Theory.”

With the recent debut of new material, Jimmy Eat World has shown that they can mix things up. For two of its songs on their 2010 released album “Invented,” guitarist/vampire rocker Tom Linton took up the lead vocals. To this new change up, Adkins joked, “You sing great for a guy that sucks.”

“I didn't expect this many people to show up,” an amazed Adkins said to his audience.

Jimmy Eat World has been creating hits since it formed 17 years ago, and it has been selling out theaters across the country on recent tours. Performing in Tempe, neighbor to their hometown of Mesa, why expect anything less than a packed audience?

Ending their set with the mellow-beat of “Goodbye Sky Harbor,” the band fooled no one as they exited the stage. Diehard fans knew the boys would not leave the building without playing a couple more of Jimmy Eat World's essential songs.

Minutes of audience chanting and techies re-tuning instruments passed when Adkins came back on stage to conduct the costume contest that he had promised earlier in the show and via Twitter. Finalists consisted of a huge pumpkin head, scandalous giraffe and two oil-spill survivors. Toughing it with a mask the size of the wearer’s torso, the pumpkin head was dubbed “best costume” by Adkins and the audience.

Eventually, the band shooed the contestants off the stage and began their inevitable encore. The dark “23” slowed the audience into their mini-set. The shoot-from-the-hip lyrics of “Get It Faster” spread moshing and aggressive dancing through the building. The boys skillfully ended the night with hit dance-indie songs “The Sweetness” and the 2001 hit “The Middle.”

Contact the reporter at lkjorda1@asu

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