Splice Magazine

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Jimmy Eat World + The Hotelier + Microwave


St. Louis, Missouri (May 11, 2018) – Tonight Jimmy Eat World’s Integrity Blues the Tour blew through St. Louis, MO. Special guests, The Hotelier, and Microwave join them at The Pageant.

© Splice Magazine – Jessi McKee. Please do not alter images. 

The stage is framed in street lights. The anticipation for seeing Jimmy Eat World has been brewing for years. Braced for what is sure to be an emotional rollercoaster of fun songs of our youth, alongside the deeply emotional reflexes rendered from The Hotelier and Microwave. Jimmy Eat World will deliver so much more proving they are still making great music 25 years into their emo/pop punk careers. I hear the crowd volume turn from mutters to screams, Nathan Hardy, the frontman for Microwave crosses the stage. Excitement roars within and the hope to witness some of the more hardcore hits from the older albums and dying to hear “Lighterless”, a favorite song from the newest album release, Much Love.

This four-piece band did not disappoint. Touted as blending hardcore, emo and indie music,  together, the butter smith, yet edgy vocal talent of Hardy paired with the fierce guitar stylings of Travis Hill matched so perfectly with the gritty percussion and bass of Tito Pittard and Tyler Hill respectively.

Playing to a wide range of emotions, opening with a bouncy melody drenched in pink and purple stage lights, the melodies are met with deep and pensive lyrics. I then get my wish of hearing “Lighterless” and as I snapped away focused on Tyler, the front row echoes the lyrics back from behind the barricade.

Microwave slowed things down mid-set with “Stovall”, from the album of the same name. A deeply emotional song showcasing Nathan’s showmanship on stage and passion in his vocal ranges. They wrapped up the set with a slow burn to a forest fire that is “Vomit”; starting with a delicate melody and vocals, once we reach the second chorus the tempo picks up and the ferocity skyrockets. Nathan begins the harsh and brooding vocals that round out the song. A crowd member new to the band and standing at my side widens their eyes at the breakdown and comments “well I didn’t see that coming!

© Splice Magazine – Jessi McKee. Please do not alter images. 

The alternative indie rock band, The Hotelier, is up next. Having seen them at The Firebird last time they came through St. Louis, MO. Christian Holden rings out the first verse of “Goodness Pt. 2” and as the instrumentals appear to be repeating more than normal, we all look around; at the far end of the stage, we see Chris’s guitar doesn’t seem to be getting sound. After a very short time, they get it figured out and the rest of “Goodness Pt. 2” wipes our memories of any sort of delay as Sam Fredrick’s light and vibrant drumming paired to the calls of Christian on vocals, blending into the bright instrumentals of Ben Gauthier on bass and Chris Hoffman on guitar.



I have always loved “Your Deep Rest”, from Home, Like Noplace Is There, (2014) and seeing it live is an amazing experience. Not only are Christian’s vocals just so beautiful and unique the strength of the instrumentals in this song that change on a dime from intense to tender then crazed; this song live evokes a vulnerability that is hard to articulate. You can see in Christian and Chris’ faces as they sing the chorus together; brows scrunching and bodies moving as they sing “I called in sick from your funeral, the sight of your family made me feel responsible”.  It’s a big song, with a big response from the entire crowd.


© Splice Magazine – Jessi McKee. Please do not alter images. 

The street lights framing The Pageant stage flicker on, drummer Zach Lind sits on an elevated platform, Jim Adkins, with a white fender slung across his body, takes the stage front and center. I immediately get lost in the chaos of the crowd screaming. Refocusing to take a beat for the second song realizing, I didn’t have to wait long for one of my favorites, “I Will Steal You Back”, from 2013’s Damage. Tom Linton is drenched in crimson and black lights, illuminating his black Gibson guitar on stage right and is captivating, watching his hands fly through the chords of 2007’s Chase This Light – “Big Casino”.



Settling the back for the rest of the show with a widescreen view of “Pass the Baby”, from the latest release, Integrity Blues is a sight of beauty. The guitar work from Adkins and Linton is incredible. The stage lights flickering as the finale winds up to Jim frantically ringing out the chords to the vibe heavy riff-monster of a song.

The true finale, encore of the encore was fan-favorite, “The Middle”, from 2001’s Bleed American. It was bass-heavy; letting Rick Burch’s skills on the metallic Fender bass blast through The Pageant to a crowd of fans singing along with every line and cheering for joy.

While Jimmy Eat World delivers on nostalgia and music we know and love, Microwave leaves us with angsty satisfaction. The Hotelier delivers the emotional uppercut with big songs, driving us into introspection.


Jimmy Eat World:

Love Never / half heart (single) (05/04/18) One of the newest songs from Jimmy Eat World delivered mid-set,  “Love Never” packs a heavy intro. An ode to love and the struggles of reality in relationships. It’s relatable, upbeat and a pop punk tune for the masses.  Fans got a preview of this new tune with the Lyric video release May 3rd and many had already picked up the lyrics and were singing along.

The Hotelier:


The Pageant:

 Photojournalist: Jessi McKee

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