Two of the most beloved acts in the indie and emo scene of the 2000s, Arizona alt/emo rockers Jimmy Eat World and hard-hitting, genre-bending Atlanta indie outfit Manchester Orchestra are currently in the midst of a co-headlining summer tour, which brings the groups- both no strangers to Nashville in recent years- to Ascend Amphitheater tonight, July 28 with Australian indie rockers Middle Kids! It’s been a great few weeks for millennials who shopped at Hot Topic, loved MySpace, and couldn’t wait for the summer and the Warped Tour, with the likes of Blink 182 and the nostalgic Sad Summer Fest (with Taking Back Sunday, Motion City Soundtrack, and more) all hitting town back to back, and this co-headlining bill keeps that vibe going. Whether you fit into that category of 2000s nostalgia, or you found Jimmy or Manchester for some of their more recent, still incredibly vibrant work, you can still get tickets for this evening’s show right here, then read on for more about the headliners!
JIMMY EAT WORLD
With over 20 years of beloved and essential releases, few bands have been as important to the emo scene or have maintained as much breakout, immeasurable influence as Jimmy Eat World, who first rose to widespread recognition in the early ’00s (but made a big impact in the underground several years prior). Formed in 1993 in Mesa, Arizona (by a lineup that’s largely remained unchanged), the band came into their own at a time when peers like The Get Up Kids, Mineral, The Promise Ring, and Braid were finding underground cult followings for their substantive, raw, and indie-derived emo sound, but had failed to reach the mainstream recognition of pop punk acts like Green Day. By 1999 third album (and second major label effort) Clarity, Jimmy’s ascent was beginning to look more likely, bolstered by their anthemic, pop primed sensibilities, and with 2001 followup Bleed American, their breakthrough and best known effort, they became a certifiable critical and commercial success, earning constant radio play, music video rotation, chart certifications, and huge tour opportunities. Though musically distinct from pop punks like Blink-182, New Found Glory, and Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World were, nonetheless, mentioned in the same breath as that scene, which ushered in a dominant stylistic shift in rock that would last throughout the ’00s and influence countless subsequent acts like Paramore and Brand New. 2004’s Futures was, and remains, one of the best modern rock releases of all-time and an emo scene classic, and over five LPs since, most recently 2019’s Surviving, Jimmy have proven every bit the reliable, nuanced, and resonant outfit they’ve always been. Running the range of DIY favorites to true rockstars to reliably famous and fan-geared act, Jimmy Eat World have essentially settled into role of emo elder statesman and ’00s nostalgic faves, appearing increasingly at festivals and touring regularly. Though they played a generous number of Nashville dates in 2018 and 2019, this marks their first time back post-pandemic.
Like their co-headliners, Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra have long swirled around the pop punk and emo world (bolstered by close former associations with Brand New, and tours with acts like Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance). However, from the start, they’ve always been an indie rock group, and one of the best, and certainly most beloved, of the last two decades. Formed in 2004 by singer Andy Hull during his last year of high school, the band released their first full-length, I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child, in 2006, and were immediately praised by critics and fans, enabling them to tour on a broad scale ahead of sophomore effort Mean Everything to Nothing. Subsequent years would include continued critical attention, Hull’s side project Bad Books with Kevin Devine and solo work as Right Away, Great Captain!, placements and television appearances, and major festival sets, including a few appearances at nearby Bonnaroo. Their releases throughout the 2010s, particularly 2011’s fan-favorite Simple Math and 2014’s Cope, distilled the band’s intimate, indie sound and balanced it with grand, accessible, hard-hitting rock bite, helping them broaden their reputation and appeal, enabling 2017’s A Black Mile to the Surface to land them squarely in the buzzy contemporary indie sphere, also bolstered by Hull and guitarist Robert McDowell’s score for cult hit film Swiss Army Man. And with recent efforts like 2021’s The Million Masks of God and recent EP The Valley of Vision, the group further embraced the conceptual, cinematic, and more progressive tendencies they’ve always harbored. An electrifying and resonate live act, Manchester Orchestra are a must-see anytime they’re in town, and feel like a perfect compliment to Jimmy Eat World.