Hometown heroes Jimmy Eat World are determined to bring the party to Super Bowl LVII Experience presented by Lowe’s at Hance Park.
Known for their song “The Middle,” Jimmy Eat World will kick off the festivities with a free show on Thursday, February 9.
“It should be pretty wild,” drummer Zach Lind says. “I think, for us, being it’s a hometown gig and a fun outdoor celebration, we’re probably just going to bring the hits and make it a party.”
Singer Jim Adkins adds the people watching is key to Super Bowl LVII Experience presented by Lowe’s.
“I’m interested to see what kind of people show up,” he says. “I imagine it’ll be a lot of local people who know who we are. I’m also expecting out-of-town fans who are there for the Super Bowl, not necessarily to come see us play.
“We get the added bonus of having a core group of people who will respond to what we’re doing and hopefully they influence the people who don’t know, and they trick them into thinking they’re having much more of a good time than they are.”
Jimmy Eat World plays Arizona sparingly, even though they hail from the East Valley. However, they last hit local stages on October 28 and are back already.
“It’s interesting because we spent such a long time not doing many shows in Phoenix,” Lind says. “We’ve had a show in October and this one. We’re making up for lost time.”
This year, Jimmy Eat World has big plans. They’re knocking out the last of the 2020 rescheduled dates, including those supporting My Chemical Romance in Australia.
“That was the first thing we were going to do before quarantine happened around the world,” Adkins says.
“We’re getting some closure there. And later on in the year, we’re going to be celebrating our 30 years as a band, which is pretty wild. We’re going to have a big giant bowling party, and everyone is invited.”
Looking back on those three decades, Atkins fondly thinks of Jimmy Eat World’s early years.
“I see the very beginnings of our band, where we are now and where we’re going,” he says. “I still remember rehearsing in Zach’s parents’ garage, playing around town in clubs and quasi-legal art spaces. Those moments sort of jump out at me. We’ve done a lot of awesome stuff. We were on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ at festivals in other countries.”
On the flipside, Lind says Jimmy Eat World’s formative years are a blur.
“A lot of it is a haze now,” he adds with a laugh. “But I do remember playing local shows around town, hitting these benchmarks we were never expected to do. We opened for bands we really loved.
“What sticks out to me is, last year, in the summer, we played a show in London and there was something interesting about it and its vibe.”
He’s referring to a gig at Brixton Academy, where “fans were singing so loud.”
“I could barely hear the band,” he says. “I felt a sense of patting ourselves on our backs. To be this far down the line in our career and having a show that sticks out in our memory is amazing. A lot of them blend together. Entire tours vacate the memory.”
So, let’s get down to brass tacks. Who did Lind hope would make it to the Super Bowl? The Cincinnati Bengals.
“I have a soft spot for Joe Burrow,” he says. “I hope that they make it back to the Super Bowl. The reality of it is there are so many good teams left. I think whoever it is will be a great matchup.”
Super Bowl LVII Experience presented by Lowe’s at Hance Park
WHEN: Various times Thursday, February 9, to Sunday, February 12
WHERE: Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 W. Culver Street, Phoenix