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Live Review: Less Than Jake/Yellowcard – Leeds O2 Academy – 14th March 2015

Guest Reviewer: Matt Dickinson

Less Than Jake/Yellowcard – Leeds O2 Academy – 14th March 2015

On Saturday, we made the snap decision to head to Leeds and catch Less Than Jake and Yellowcard; on a bit of a high after an England rugby win. The bill itself was punk, but in three different ways. Unfortunately the show was extremely early and I didn’t get the chance to catch Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! open up with their own special brand of French party/hardcore style punk.

Luckily I got there just in time for Yellowcard – a band who I’ve always had a bit of a liking for but never got round to seeing. Yellowcard drew the straw of being the first band up out of the co-headliners – something I was sort of pleased by as every time I see Less Than Jake the always seem to be the ones on first. I’ve not really payed too much attention to Yellowcard in recent years so their setlist was a little unfamiliar to me – and normally if I’d preplanned the trip I’d have given the songs I didn’t know some plays. Still there were some stone cold classics in this set – ‘Way Away’, ‘Ocean Avenue’ and ‘Only One’ getting the biggest pops of the night from the crowd.  The new songs from latest effort Lift A Sail such as first real song of the set ‘Transmission Home’ all sound good live, and this was a solid live effort from a band that clearly are proud of their whole catalogue, yet don’t want to just dine out on the success of Ocean Avenue. Highlights of the set for me were ‘Way Away’ and ‘Lights and Sounds’ as well as the first big singalong of the night in ‘Only One’

Then it was time for Less Than Jake. I think if there’s one band that is suited to a live show on a Saturday night, it’s LTJ with their infectious ska punk. It’s fair to say that this particular Less than Jake set was the polar opposite of the Yellowcard set – taking pride in their older songs and playing them with a great amount of passion, but being the band they are playing them effortlessly and as if they have the best job in the world.

Their set kicked off with ‘Look What Happened’ and never really backed down from there, it was a set filled with some absolute classics that cut through all their big hits. As well as the music part of a Less Than Jake set is the humour – one memorable spot being “We’re doing 50% more dick jokes because Tom got kicked out of Blink. Now other 40 year olds in punk bands have to pick up the slack.”.

Some of the classics they rolled out such as ‘Automatic’; ‘How’s My Driving Doug Hastings’ and ‘Sugar In Your Gas Tank’ got a pretty hyped crowd going wild, then there was the classic sing-a-long to ‘The Science Of Selling Yourself Short’

The set itself closed with the combo of ‘History of a Boring Town’ and ‘Plastic Cup Politics’ followed by ripping into the encore of ‘All My Best Friends Are Metalheads’ and ‘Gainesville Rock City’. It’s fair to say that Gainesville was the standout track of the night for me and this is possibly one of my favourite times I’ve caught Less Than Jake.

This tour lineup was an absolute cracker – maybe not what you’d expect but whoever booked this did a cracking job. I’d recommend Less Than Jake or Yellowcard live to anyone – and I’ll be making an effort to see Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! as soon as possible!

This was a 9/10 show for me


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