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Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World Goes on a Brief Solo Acoustic Tour Finishing in Costa Mesa, OC

Written and Photographed by: Kim Conlan

Once ticket sales were announced to the public about Jim Adkins, lead singer of Jimmy Eat World, playing a solo acoustic show at the Wayfarer in Costa Mesa on February 27th, they sold out within 12 hours. According to the head of Numbskull Entertainment, the national booker and promoter overseeing Adkins’ West Coast tour, he had been waiting and hoping for a stint of this kind for many years. Apparently other people had been too.

Usually on a Friday night at the Wayfarer, live music doesn’t begin until almost 9 p.m., depending on how many bands are on the bill. But this time, things started early at 7 p.m., and at 6:30 p.m. the parking lot was full and there was already a sizeable line forming at the front door of the venue. For the lucky 300 or so people who were able to snag a ticket, they patiently waited for doors to open. Inside, the vintage bulbs, reclaimed wood, and scent of home-style bar bites set the perfect mood for the acoustic ensembles that evening. As doors opened, attendees started to trickle in, grabbing a cold brew at the bar.

By 7:30 p.m. the venue was filled, with everyone directing attention solely to the stage. Reubens Accomplice, the same band that had toured with Jimmy Eat World for the Clarity 10-year anniversary tour in 2009, joined Jim Adkins again in two ways. Not only were they there to warm up the crowd as the opener, but later the two gentlemen joined Adkins on stage as his musical accompaniment as well.

For those of you who will always have a place in your heart for the driving rhythm guitar and catchy lyrics of the hit song, “The Middle, ” from Jimmy Eat World’s 2001 album release, that is not what this solo show was about. Adkins, standing solo with only a guitar and microphone, spoke directly to the crowd, “I know most of you are used to seeing me with the whole band, and you might not be sure what to expect.” No matter what the crowd had in mind, it was clear to everyone that Adkins preferred to keep things intimate, only play a few of his band’s songs in the mix, and surprise his listeners with a few unexpected cover songs. The most visible reaction from the crowd came when Adkins started into a song, only vaguely familiar until the chorus began, “Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world, Like I’m the only one that you’ll ever love, Like I’m the only one who knows your heart, Only girl in the world.” Friend’s turned to one another, pleasantly surprised to hear the song by Rhianna in this version, and impressed by Adkin’s fervent interpretation of the piece. After travelling from San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and San Jose, Adkins finished off his acoustic tour here in Costa Mesa. Hopefully it won’t be the last time he comes around.

The Wayfarer: House of Social Provisions
843 W. 19th Street
Costa Mesa CA 92627
www.wayfarercm.com