Their insane success is hard to debate right now. They're just massive. Tours, album is still selling 24k a week, and Nate's finally getting the credit for the songwriter he's always been.
Seriously. I can't think of another band that's on an indie label that has had ANY kind of breakout like they have. "We Are Young" is easily the biggest single a band from this scene has seen since maybe "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs."
Yeah it's not even close. I think it's the biggest single we've ever seen, tbh. I'd have to look (memory doesn't work without more coffee), but has any other band on this list had the number one song in the country? Did Green Day ever do it?
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" hit #2, that seems to be the closest I can find.
I think Jimmy Eat World is definitely a little bit lower, however. A few years back I think they could be that high, but now I don't really agree.
During the release of Bleed American and Futures, I'd say it would have been hard to find a bigger alternative rock band. For that alone they deserve to be in the top 5. They just have been at it so long I feel like they don't get looked at as a "big" band anymore.
Serious? There were a ton of bands that were bigger than Jimmy at that time. Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down, Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Staind, and Green Day all had hits at that time and are all bigger bands than Jimmy Eat World (with the possible exception of Staind, though Staind has had more modern rock chart success I believe).
Jimmy was probably the hot new alternative band at the time, but there were always bigger bands than Jimmy.
I'm talking about in terms of a band breaking out from this scene. Of course there were bigger bands, but you've also named some of the biggest bands in the past 20 years in that list.