Jimmy Eat World Finds New Ways to Engage Fans with ‘Phoenix Sessions’


(Courtesy Jimmy Eat World)

By Heather Graham, Assistant Copy Chief, Arts Writer


Last spring, as the pandemic protocols shut down venues and touring schedules, musicians and music industry professionals around much of the world found themselves faced with the question of what to do next. For those in music, touring and live performances make up a large portion of income. For artists and bands, touring is also the primary way of connecting with their fanbase.

Restless and worried, many turned to virtual solutions and sought innovative ways to engage. Podcasts, intimate social media streams and larger-scale virtual concerts began to take the place of nation-wide concert tours and festivals, meet and greets and interviews. Some of these engagements helped musicians raise money for their furloughed crew members, share their passion for performing, but most importantly, allowed them to connect with their fans. 

Pop-emo veterans Jimmy Eat World wanted to try something just a little different though, and in October 2020 began orchestrating their “Phoenix Sessions,” a three-chapter film series, in partnership with Danny Wimmer Presents. Prerecorded at the historic Icehouse event center in Phoenix, Arizona, each of the films in the series focuses on one album from the band’s nearly three-decade career.

The lineup includes the 2019 release “Surviving,” the commercially successful “Futures” and the fan-favorite “Clarity.” Each film has a unique vibe and offers an intimate look at the music, from start to finish, on the album. The “Phoenix Sessions,” as vocalist Jim Adkins said in the trailer video, is “something people can connect with in a new way too”

“Surviving” kicked off the series on Jan. 15 with “Futures” and “Clarity” following on Jan. 29 and Feb. 12, respectively. For fans hungry for more access, Jimmy Eat World is also offering a meet and greet package that includes a personal, two-minute phone call with the band. Tickets are available for each individual film or in a multi-pack bundle, and each film has an encore streaming availability for up to 72 hours after the initial event. The dedicated Jimmy Eat World website hosts the livestream, ticket purchases, and other information about the project and series. 

Jimmy Eat World has been making music and touring together since 1993. They have released 10 studio albums and 16 singles, several of which have landed on the Billboard Charts. Their 2001 record “Bleed American” (originally released as a self-titled album) broke them into the mainstream spotlight with popular songs like “The Middle” and “Sweetness,” and they continue to release radio hits and fan-favorite deep cuts. They have persevered from a humble indie-punk band, through the second and third waves of emo and into a comfortable pop-rock sound peppered with nearly three decades of influence and talent. 

Jimmy Eat World’s innovation and creativity in connecting with their fans has always played a role in the longevity the band has found in the music scene. The “Phoenix Sessions” film series, together with other virtual engagement from bands in this genre like Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, Set It Off, Marianas Trench, The Starting Line and others has, and will, continue to help live music weather the storm of the pandemic. These special and intimate events will be a timeless chapter in the scene’s history.


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