On Saturday 7th March, Less Than Jake returned to Nottingham along with their long-time friends Yellowcard, who last played here in 2006. Rather than just watching two bands just play music on stage, this gig felt more like some groups of friends just chilling and having a laugh. This is probably one of the few gigs when you also see people in their 30s jumping around, singing and drinking so much.
Starting the show was French rock band Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! Whilst a bit different compared to the other bands, being more post-hardcore, there were many people cheering to see them. They played songs from their album ‘Pardon my French’ as well as covering Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’.
The band of the night for me was definitely Less Than Jake, who had the whole audience jumping up and down (and on my own feet a lot). The addition of brass in the music as well as the usual rock instrument line-up made it very upbeat and energetic, and their attitude on stage reflected this, constantly emphasising “the more you drink, the better we sound!” They kept the audience amused with toilet rolls and balloons too. I enjoyed how silly they got at some points such as when they played the ‘Pac Man Cereal Song’ (twice!) and when they pressured an audience member to get up on stage and chug her drink (she didn’t, so they did it for her). They played a variety of songs new and old, both energetic and more balladic.
Yellowcard finished the main gig, again with a very friendly and relaxed vibe. Their music featured a violin, and was a good end to thee night, allowing you to wind down after the previous bands. At some points you could really see the emotion put into their music such as in ‘California’, where Ryan Key soloed playing piano and singing.
By Jason Powell