Less Than Jake / Tommy Tutone / Fall Out Boy

Less Than Jake/Tommy Tutone/Fall Out Boy: live in Philadelphialive in Philadelphia (2003)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: FuzzyFuzzy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I've been a Less Than Jake fan for something like 7 years now. Ever since I first heard their track on The Spawn of Skarmageddon I fell in love. Over the years, my musical tastes have changed and grown, but LTJ has stayed a constant disc turner. Even after my extreme disappointment with their lat.

I've been a Less Than Jake fan for something like 7 years now. Ever since I first heard their track on The Spawn of Skarmageddon I fell in love. Over the years, my musical tastes have changed and grown, but LTJ has stayed a constant disc turner. Even after my extreme disappointment with their latest studio effort, Anthem, I was looking forward to their live show, and their set at the Warped Tour had me prepared for the best on this night. Sadly, I was to be disappointed. But before I get to the Floridians in questions, lets talk a bit about the opening acts.

Punchline came out to "rock us" first. Apparently they forgot their rock at home, and decided just to suck. A lot. Boring, repetitive pop punk that sufficiently bored me to tears. They weren't helped by a sound system that sounded like it was on it's last leg. In fact, the sound system plagued all three openers during the night. Fallout Boy came up next. Wow. They suck. I was prepared for this, as it seems that LTJ often times picks bands that I would not have allowed to be within ten blocks of them, let alone share the stage as openers. However, FOB is on Fueled by Ramen, Vinnie's label, so it stands to reason. All I can say is that they are really really boring.

I'd rather not dwell on either of these bands, mainly because they weren't the reason why I went, and their style overall just isn't my cup of tea. I thought they sucked, but many other teenyboppers there seemed to enjoy themselves.

Now, the opener that we all waited for. RUFIO!

Okay, not really. As I'm sure you heard, Rufio suffered a huge loss and pulled off the tour so that they could recover. My apologies and sympathy extend to the band, but I can say that I was happy they weren't there that night. Because we got TOMMY TUTONE instead. Yes, Mr. 867 5309 himself. It was, well, exactly what you'd expect. He opened with 867-5309 (Jenny) and closed with it as well. His set contained a ton of songs that no one had heard, except the aforementioned hit, and his cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World". However, his set was much more enjoyable, and his stage presence was far greater and more impressive than either of the two bands preceding him. It was fun, but overall the set was a bit too long, I could have dealt with less material from someone who I'm sure will drop back into VH1 obscurity right after the tour.

Now the main event. They took the stage and busted into something off of Anthem. This did not bode well, because try as hard as I can, I just don't "feel" the record and it carries through to their live show. This would be the theme of the night as well.

All in all, their set was composed of pretty good songs. Standouts include Look What Happened, Dopeman (word), Laverne and Shirley, Sugar in Your Gastank, The Ghosts of Me and You, All My Best Friends are Metalheads, and the other essentials in the Less Than Jake arsenal. Walking away, the only song whose omission I was curious about was Never Going Back to New Jersey, as Philly is the closest NJ show they played, and it's where I live now. With these songs played, I thought I'd come away feeling pretty good about the show. But there's just something missing. Normally, a Less Than Jake show is energy, start to finish. There's no letting up, from the crowd or from the band, but there were times in the night where I felt like all of the energy had just completely disappeared, like when they played Escape from the A-Bomb House. It's just weird to feel bored at a LTJ show. It shouldn't happen.

Another thing that shouldn't happen is getting annoyed at them. Chris was in rare form, pulling his normal "Roger's a hippy, I hate him" schtick. But it seemed a) forced, and b) real, once he and Roger got into what seemed like a real fight. It was pretty annoying. Vinnie kept trying to start songs, but Chris kept on blabbing away. I've seen this before, and I don't think anyone wants to see this band go the way of Reel Big Fish.

They closed the night with The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out and Screws Fall Out. Overall, this song was performed the best of any of the new songs all night. Well, the first half was. During the second "energetic" half, I just got bored.

Overall, the night wasn't a total flop. It's Less Than Jake, so a bad night for them is still a better night than most bands will ever have (including Punchline and Fallout Boy). Sadly, my indifference to the new songs isn't just due to the questionable production value on Anthem, but has to do with the songs themselves, as evidenced by their lackluster effect on me. After 11 years of LTJ, and 7 years of me listening to them, I can't say that this surprises me, but LTJ's live shows have been one of my favorite activities for a long time. It's sad to say that I came away feeling a little less than fulfilled. Regardless of my apprehensions, I still advise all fans to go see this show.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
rxbandito24 (December 11, 2003)

i love ltj, and anthem isnt a bad cut, but dont you think they've really been shoving the cd down our throats, not too mention they played a TON of Anthem songs. I think it hurts their image, by the way, what songs was everyone disapointed not to hear on this tour? i know i wanted to hear more from rockview, perhaps last one outta liberty city, its a great live tune, as well as history of a boring town, and NO AUTOMATIC.. whats the deal with that?

Anonymous (December 11, 2003)

hey dumbass, Tommy Tutone is the name of the band and not the lead singer. dumbass.

Anonymous (December 9, 2003)

why doesn't Less Than Jake EVER take ska bands on the road with them? I've seen LTJ with both AAA and Mephiskapheles!

rxbandito24 (December 8, 2003)

why doesnt less than jake EVER take ska bands on the road with them?

Fuzzy (December 7, 2003)

I've never yelled at a band for talking. I like it, usually. But when the banter starts to suck....then I just stop going to shows.

Jon_the_Skafather (December 6, 2003)

memo to guy below me: work on your trolling you suck at it.

Anonymous (December 6, 2003)

why do they rock so hard is the worst bag of shite to come from a mediocre band. Memo to RBF: you can't just re-record your old songs: you gotta write some new ones too!

and then we have Cheer Up....

Jon_the_Skafather (December 6, 2003)

about the rbf and ltj cd's...they faced opposite problems...

ltj was over produced and rbf was underproduced. rbf's best cd has been wdtrsh...the right combination of them left to their own with production and right ammount of production provided.

ltj was the opposite...overproduced and it just castrated alot of songs that probably could have been better songs if only the production wasn't so slick and smoothed over by pro-tools.

as far as live shows...the best thing to do when they start getting like that....instead of shouting less tlak more rock start shouting along the skits with them, that way they realize it's getting old and that they might want to find something new. sometimes helps when enough people start doing it.

superdude (December 6, 2003)

This review was good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. Let Fall Out Boy tell their side of the story, I'm sure it's a good story.

2. Talk more about any drink specials there were

3. Is Less Than Jake still straight Edge?

4. I heard that Minor Threat was Straight Edge. Yeah right!

Fuzzy (December 6, 2003)

By "going the way of reel big fish" I meant going the way of releasing a crappy album and turning your live show into a living representation of that album. I am not saying that Anthem was as bad as Cheer Up! or that it's neccessary that they are headed in the same direction, but after seeing a similar "more rock on the cd, more talk at the show" situation happen, it wouldn't suprise me. I am a huge fan of letting a band have fun on stage, however. But when it's just a scripted stage act and it's not actually the band having fun on stage, it's bland, boring and stale. I feel that happened to RBF. If you don't, that's great, but that's the way that I, and most ska fans I know, feel. Oh, and I like pop punk. Yellowcard, The Hippos, The Stereo, The Impossibles, Pollen, Big in Japan, tons of pop punk bands. However, Punchline and Fallout Boy are just terrible live. Maybe on CD they are decent, but from what I've heard, they aren't great there either.

fattony (December 6, 2003)

I can only assume that "going the way of Reel Big Fish" means that there was a bit too much stage banter, but whatever. As long as it's fun, I couldn't care less with either RBF or LTJ.

I saw this show in Seattle a few weeks back. LTJ was great. Fallout Boy sucked big time. I forget who the other opener was. I want to say Yellowcard. Regardless, they were painfully generic as well. But LTJ are still at the top of their game, as far as I'm concerned and Anthem will easily be in my top 10 at the end of the year.

gutterhippo (December 6, 2003)

"i got to sing "krazy glue" with them for LTJ karaoke so the score is for that"

nice, i got to sing "automatic", it was amazing to sing with my favorite band, it was the best moment of my life

gutterhippo (December 6, 2003)

fall out boy was boring? i hardly believe this, they have amazing stage presence! i'm sure you just said that because you don't like pop punk and want all of us to think you're punk by not letting yourself enjoy a band that's pop punk

rxbandito24 (December 5, 2003)

i may be the only one here who wants to know, but what songs did punchline play, i've always been a punchline fan. I think Jake is still good though guys, saw this show (without punchline, and with BANGTANGO)

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

rehasher is okay, nothing too special. if roger wasnt singing for them no one would give a shit and they would just be another band that sounds like nofx.

but i saw this show in hollywood and at anahiem, and i think it was one of the best LTJ shows ive been too, and ive been to alot. they had the three peice horn section again which sounded awesome. the new songs fucking own, i understand the reviewer didnt like them. but i do, and the new stuff just kills live. brighest bulb/screws fall out was just unbelievable. the jokes at the shows i went to were focased on buddy, arnold schraznegger(sp?) and ashton kutcher. so it was pretty funny. theyve been on tour for 10 months, which is insane. so im sure they get sick of each other and thats probably why it seemed real when chris was making fun of roger. anyway i got to sing "krazy glue" with them for LTJ karaoke so the score is for that

Jon_the_Skafather (December 5, 2003)

umm.....what exactly is the way reel big fish went?

reel big fish has an awsome live show and unless you're one of those fucktards who say "more rock less talk" and never lets a band have any fun then i don't know what you could be talking about. if you just want to hear a band play and not see other stuff(like interaction) then just go buy a cd and stay in your fucking room.

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

sounds like a pretty terrible show.

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

Yeah, i'm with this guy, what happened to RBF?

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

what happened to reel big fish?

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

I could see Roger splitting from this band and making a cd ten times better than anthem

I guess you havent heard about it, but Rog's side project, Rehasher, are releasing their cd next year on No idea.


toma (December 5, 2003)

it would've rocked if the 2nd time he played it less than jake came out and sped it up halfway through and tommy and chris sang a duet or something

GregSka (December 5, 2003)

I could see Roger splitting from this band and making a cd ten times better than anthem

notfeelingcreative (December 5, 2003)

The comment about Tommy Tutone opening and closing with "Jenny" reminds me of the time I saw Ted Nugent open for Kiss. My friends and I kept yelling "Cat Scratch Fever!!" after he played it we continued to yell "Cat Scratch Fever" after every song! When he finally got pissed and said "I already played that!" we yelled "Play it again!!" We were in the front row so I guess we were lucky he didn't try to shoot us with a bow and arrow!

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

By that I meant that while the "banter" seemed forced, the actual insults and arguing ended feeling real and it was like they were really fighting. Sorry, that was poorly worded. -Fuzzy

inagreendase (December 5, 2003)

"But it seemed a) forced, and b) real"

How do you force something that's real?

I was thinking the same exact thing. Although the J-Lo followup was sort of a zinger.

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

I dunno. Ask J.Lo, she makes millions from it.

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

"But it seemed a) forced, and b) real"

How do you force something that's real?

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

Parallel strtucture!

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

Not trying to steal Superdude's thunder, but when you said "Apparently they forgot the rock at home and decided just to suck." It would have been better had you said something like "They left the rock at home & decided to just bring the suck."

Anonymous (December 5, 2003)

He opened and closed with that song?!?!?
What a fucking never-was-been.


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