Although his first Denver show has now approached the two-decades-ago mark, lead singer Jim Adkins still considers himself a 14-year-old kid who loves metal.

"You guys are probably sick of weed jokes, huh?" Adkins asks the packed Gothic Theater on South Broadway.

Yeah, probably.

Good thing Jimmy Eat World didn't come with a stand-up routine based on legal marijuana - instead, the seasoned rockers did what they do best.

The rocked the house.

Ahead of the show, lead singer Jim Adkins and back-up vocalist and guitarist Tom Linton sat down to talk Denver, new music, and the road ahead.

Though this is just their second stop of a headlining tour promoting new album Integrity Blues, the group plans to be on the road the rest of the year.

"Denver was always on the little circuit we would do, starting in ninety-six," Adkins said.

Yes, that's 1996. When Adkins mentions this on stage a few hours later, the girl next to me leans over to her friend and says, "I wasn't even born then!"

But, that's neither here nor there.

It's a testament to the musicians, who brought both a mix of older couples and younger fans to The Gothic.

Adkins and Linton say their first show in Denver in '96 was with Christy Front Drive at the Arapahoe Warehouse.

The group has been rocking since 1993, when they formed in Arizona. Their last show at The Gothic was ten years ago.

"It's a home away from home," Adkins said. "A lot of long-time friends we got to know here."

Sunday's stop is the beginning of a headlining tour for Jimmy Eat World as the group prepares to release its ninth studio album, Integrity Blues, on Oct. 21.

"Musicians are always most excited about the thing they just did. We can't really wait to play new songs," Adkins said.

And they did, playing a few new tracks from Integrity Blues, including single You With Me.

But, where the hall really got rocking was when Adkins and friends played older hits such as The Sweetness and The Middle (as their encore, of course).

They also played slower classics from 2001's Bleed American and earlier, including Hear You Me and Just Watch The Fireworks.

The band says they stayed true to those roots even as they worked with a new producer on Integrity Blues.

"There's a lot that's different, there's a lot that's still us," Adkins said. "We tried not to be so automatic about the process."

While the group has been around for more than 20 years, they still have places they want to play for the first time. Adkins mentions next year they're hoping to tour South America.

"It feels good to be rocking again," he said.

Well, Jim, it sounds darn good, too.

Miss the band's Denver show? They'll be back in Colorado Springs Oct. 19.