Gary Jules surprises Asheville Brewing crowd with ‘Mad World’ performance


Singer-songwriter Gary Jules wowed an Asheville crowd gathered last Thursday for two showings of the cult movie classic Donnie Darko by singing his hit rendition of the song Mad World, which is part of the movie soundtrack. The movie was shown at Asheville Pizza & Brewing on Merrimon Avenue, which shows old and second-run movies, as part of a 15th anniversary celebration of Donnie Darko.

Jules, who lives in north Asheville, surprised the sold-out shows at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. by singing the tune, unannounced, before the showings. “People were freaking out,” says Anne Fitten Glenn, a spokeswoman for Asheville Pizza.

It all started when an Asheville Pizza server was talking up the Donnie Darko screening to a customer, who happened to know Jules. All parties connected, and Jules agreed to sing his famous song before the two shows.

Jules sang his version of Mad World, a 1982 Tears for Fears tune, on the soundtrack of Donnie Darko, which was released in 2002 and produced by Michael Andrews. He and Jules were longtime friends, and they were longtime fans of Tears for Fears.

If you missed Jules last week, you can catch him at The Orange Peel on May 31. He’ll be playing a benefit show for the Montessori Elementary School of Asheville with Billy Cardine and Free Planet Radio.