It was after the sixth beer-soaked cry of “Jim Adkins” that my worst fears were confirmed: The man sitting behind me was a Blurter.
You get them sometimes at shows. Blurters aren’t quite hecklers — they lack the aggression and occasional wit of a decent heckler. They’re a lazier version, content to blurt brief snippets of commentary or nonsense throughout the night. Blurters almost never communicate with complete sentences. They’re so intoxicated they can barely start a thought, let alone finish one.
The man behind me was repetitive, dumb, and louder than a church bell: classic Blurter material. As hometown heroes Jimmy Eat World tore their way through a hits-heavy set, The Blurter offered his running commentary. “Yeah, this one!” he’d shout at certain songs, when he wasn’t busy invoking Jim Adkins’ name. He said the frontman’s name so many times I was wondering if he was trying to Beetlejuice him somehow. Maybe if you say Jim Adkins’ name 20 times out loud he’ll poof offstage in a cloud of smoke and materialize directly in front of you and offer to join your next Rock Lottery band.
The band played with a projection screen behind them flashing red and blue lights. Surrounding them on the sides of the stage were lights that looked like street lampposts. Combined with the smoke drifting onstage, it gave Jimmy Eat World’s set a London-by-gaslight vibe. I kept waiting for Jack the Ripper to emerge from the wings and gut the bassist as they played “Lucky Denver Mint.”
At one point in the set, the band busted out an acoustic guitar for “Hear You Me (May The Angels Lead You In).” The crowd pulled out their cellphones to give the ballad the 21st-century “lighters up”…
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