Jenkins’ trick is writing catchy, more-or-less middle-of-the-road rock songs that couch hidden or distorted meanings within, often revealing his dark, dirty secrets. On “Semi-Charmed Life,” the bouncy, feel-good song that first got the band heard, and one of the highlights of this show, he sang about a past drug habit as if he’s not sure whether he reviles or relishes the memory. The kids all sang along, perhaps unaware of what exactly they were singing.
On “Graduate” and “London,” the two anthemic songs that ended the regular set, Jenkins showed off his flair for writing songs that sound familiar the first time you hear them, while establishing that, even as a rookie frontman, he knows how to inspire a good crowd, like this one, which hung on his every word.
The show did drag occasionally, when similar-sounding songs began to run together, or when band members were confused as to which song they were playing next. But those are problems easily repaired. As they encored with a speeded-up version of the Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want,” it was hard to believe that they won’t.