By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Jimmy Eat World hasn’t played live since December 12, 2019, and, lead singer Jim Adkins quips, “It’s not like I’m keeping track or anything.”
The Valley alternapop band returned to the stage recently to film three on-demand specials dubbed “Phoenix Sessions”—“Chapter X: Surviving” on January 15; “Chapter V: Futures” on January 29 and “Chapter III: Clarity” on February 12.
Filmed at the Icehouse in Downtown Phoenix, each show will start at 3 p.m. MST and will be on demand for 72 hours post-stream at jimmyeatworld.com.
“We had our pick of doing it anywhere, but doing it here makes it feel special,” Adkins says. “This is a part of who we are, and it’s important to convey that.”
Adkins says with the entire year of touring wiped out, Jimmy Eat World is looking for opportunities, instead of mulling over cancellations. A quartet of music fans, Jimmy Eat World deemed it best to produce a three-part series.
“We try to approach things from a music fan’s perspective,” Adkins adds. “We’re thinking about what would be cool. We thought putting together a really great production of us performing albums in their entirety would be a thing us, as music fans, would dig. It’s something we’ve never done.”
“We’re not the type of artists who perform songs on a whim and improvise sets and make it new every time. We thought about what we could do that presents a sense of value. Whole albums would be the thing. It’s not even something we do regularly in performances.”
During the pandemic, Adkins has been keeping busy. He started a podcast about songwriting called “Pass Through Frequencies,” with guests like Marc Rebillet, Frank Turner, Ken Andrews of Failure and Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance.
“I have had a lot of guests I wouldn’t normally have landed,” Adkins says. “The video is on YouTube and the audio wherever audio happens. They’re friends we normally see on tour because we’d all be on tour. There are 20 episodes out now.”
For a bit, he balanced his podcast with rehearsing for “Phoenix Sessions.” He admits some of the songs were challenging.
“‘Congratulations’ from ‘Surviving’ is challenging,” he says about the 6-minute, 11-second song that closes the album. “It’s the type of song where there are long sections of the same thing over and over again, followed by interjections that are changing and moving around. I have the tendency to zone out on the groove that’s happening.”
For “Phoenix Sessions,” the band is offering bundles with T-shirts, tickets, masks, posters and virtual meet and greets ranging from $14.99 to $149.99.
“If you’re fortunate enough to have expendable income and you want to buy more things with it, we have options for those people,” Adkins says.
“But it’s more about covering our expenses and maybe paying our crew. It was really nice to work with our lighting people and tech people, who we haven’t really seen, other than from the waist up on Zoom, in a year. It was really great.”
Jimmy Eat World
“Phoenix Sessions”—“Chapter X: Surviving” on January 15; “Chapter V: Futures” on January 29 and “Chapter III: Clarity” on February 12; 3 p.m. Mountain Standard Time
$14.99 to $149.99
Watch the trailer at youtu.be/f1jfc8hm3fs