By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Someday, after the revolution, when the music snobs and punk rockers have driven all the Nellys and Christina Aguileras to the sea and all the radio stations are allowed to play are old Captain Beefheart and Flipper albums and catchiness is against the law, kids will still gather in secret bunkers to listen to albums such as Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American. Sure, JEW's far too poppy for the indie police, but no matter how cool you are, sometimes you just need that anthemic bombast, and songs such as "The Middle" and "Sweetness" deliver in spades.
Although many of JEW's hardcore fans have accused the band of selling out, of abandoning its emo roots and sixteen-minute songs in favor of more commercial fare, it's also difficult not to see JEW as a band that's coming into its own. Sure, the group is polished and produced, but those driving, chorus-driven power-pop blasts that have made JEW famous are undeniable pop gems (attempting to avoid humming "Sweetness" can drive you mad). Besides, JEW is leading the charge that's replacing faux-metal with emo as the rock of choice among teenagers, so don't we owe them some gratitude?
JEW is headlining a minifestival that also features sugary pop-punkers A New Found Glory and sugary pop-poppers OKGo, which means that patrons who are over 21 will enjoy plenty of elbow room up in the Pageant's balcony. On the floor, they'll need to watch out for all the kids shoving each other and breaking their stage-diving cherries. Ahhh, big dumb teenage rock & roll: May it never die.