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FreeFest: Catching waves with Jimmy Eat World

freefestSwag surfin': The Arizona emo vets made its old tunes sound fresh. (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

By Chris Richards

The first crowd surfers of the day were spotted tumbling across a sea of outstretched limbs at 1:32 p.m., shortly after Arizona emo stalwarts Jimmy Eat World began dishing distorted power chords from Merriweather's Pavilion Stage.

The surfers were young, but the opening tunes -- "Bleed American" and "A Praise Chorus" -- were nearly a decade old, culled from the band's self-titled 2001 album. But they sounded as fiery ever, like classic rock power ballads ramped up to the speed of punk. (The band unveiled new fare from its forthcoming album, too, but the surfers sat those tunes out.)

Moments before Jimmy Eat World took to the shady Pavilion stage, Washington DJ and U Street Music Hall co-owner Will Eastman kicked things off in the shadows of FreeFest's "Dance Forest" stage. Only a few dozen fans had gathered in the wooded area to hear Eastman's punchy, bass-heavy cuts as they bounced off the trees. More dancers would come. But for now, these jams were for the squirrels.

By Click Track  | September 25, 2010; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  Live blogging  | Tags:  Virgin Mobile FreeFest  
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Next: FreeFest: Trombone Shorty brings the jazz, the funk, the soul, the kitchen sink

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