AS FRONTMAN of Arizona rockers Jimmy Eat World, Jim Adkins is a veteran of the emo – emotional hardcore – scene.
At this solo, acoustic gig, he was divested of the hardcore, but what of the emotion? That depends entirely on how one rates his bedroom balladeering.
In an attempt to take advantage of Cottiers’ church acoustic, he played his opening number unamplified but neither the song nor his voice resonated. Adkins sings in the slightly strangulated pop punk style of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, while his fluent combination of guitar picking and strumming provided a countrified backing to an efficiently dispatched set of songs old, new, borrowed and blue. Well-chosen covers consistently overshadowed his own material. There were busker versions of Rihanna’s The Only Girl (in the World) and Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun, the latter supplemented by some masculine backing vocals from the crowd.
Adkins lacked the vocal vulnerability to really tug at the heartstrings on Daniel Johnston’s touching True Love Will Find You in the End, and then immediately rained on Johnston’s naively hopeful message with his own angsty Heart is Hard to Find, but the old-fashioned swoon of The Everly Brothers’ Give Me a Sweetheart silenced the room like no other song in his set.
Still, the fans were here for reconfigured renditions of their favourite Jimmy Eat World tracks and to join in on well-behaved singalongs to the likes of Work, Kill and The Authority Song.