Turns out, you can find a non-Comic Con event downtown on a Friday night, even with Comic Con in full swing. Jimmy Eat World, Manchester Orchestra, and The Middle Kids played Gallagher Square (aka Park in the Park) to an adoring local crowd.

The Middle Kids are on the up and up, having sprung to popularity during the pandemic and made the rounds on the late-night circuit. Those who arrived early did so with intent to see the Aussie group, and were treated to their current hits like “Edge of Town” and some of the soon-to-be-released tracks including “Bootleg Firecracker.” The band commented on how their prior San Diego shows hadn’t gone well, but they certainly ended that trend.

Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra

Manchester Orchestra have consistently felt on the precipice of becoming worldwide sensations, and their live show feels deserving of the same praise. The set list leaned heavily on the more recent releases from Million Masks of God, though they did reach back in to the archive for hit “Simple Math.” Andy Hull’s vocals and the bands energetic (sometimes bordering on frenetic) aura are ever-entertaining, and the music hits home, even in a venue as large as this one.

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World played a set both casual fans and diehards loved, with “Bleed American” and “Sweetness” rocked within the first three songs, but deeper favorites like “Kill” dotting the setlist. The band have been together for over twenty years, and their well-practiced, effortless rock star status shined over the venue, with the crowd singing along to every song.

There’s no doubt these three will all be back again, likely each headlining their own tours, and are all worth your time next time around.