When I was 15 years old, I was at a local hardcore punk show, and the openers were a couple bands that at the time would be labeled as “emo.” Not emo in the sense of today’s bangs-swept quasi-goth cutters, but emo in the sense of old-school indie rock bands like Cap’n Jazz and Mineral. I wanna say one of the bands that night was either Promise Ring or Get Up Kids. The very first band though was going on at like 8pm, a small unknown band from Arizona called Jimmy Eat World. There were about 11 people there to see them that night, including me, I was onstage photographing this band as they belted into early singles (that they never play live anymore) like “Rockstar” and “Call it in the Air.” I was keen on this band, they were raw and passionate, and a genuine American rock and roll band. They stuck around the rest of the night, handing out crude photocopied paper stickers and demo cassette tapes, and just being regular dudes at a smalltown show.
It’s been about 15 years since, and in that time, Jimmy Eat World has become a famous alternative rock band recognized worldwide for 7 solid, consistent albums, and whether they like it or not, introducing “emo” into the mainstream lexicon. I still go to Jimmy Eat World shows whenever I can, they’re a reminder of my youth but it’s also about loyalty. Kinda like how some of you may feel about The Hundreds, hopefully you’ve enjoyed watching us grow up from nothings to sorta-somethings over the years, and you feel like you had something to do with that.
Unfortunately, this year I missed both LA shows, barely missed the SF show, and was near losing hope when I found out I could still catch their tour in New York. Flight landed at JFK at 7pm, highway traffic, dropped off my luggage by 8pm, weaving through New York’s rain-slicked streets, tearing into the venue by 9pm. The band started strumming their first notes by the time I took out my camera, 9:06pm, and the rest was history: