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Less Than Jake / Reel Big Fish: live in New Yorklive in New York (2007)
Ska and Reggae
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Ska-punk's not dead! Not that it was ever really threatened. Online information told me Against All Authority would start at 7:00, but by the time we actually entered the venue, indulged in the fine services of the Roseland Ballroom restroom and made our way back upstairs (6:40), the band was alr.
Ska-punk's not dead! Not that it was ever really threatened.
Set list (7:20-7:54):
Set list (8:20-9:24):
The band ran through a couple songs including their terrible Bowling for Soup outtake ("Overrated (Everything Is)"), and then called up three "contestants" to play their little game show. After one fellow -- who probably thought he was awesome when he wrote his name as "Chuck Nasty" on the submission form -- was closest in answering Demakes (or Boner's) trivia question, he was allowed to step up to LTJ's Plinko board and drop a chip in. "Wherever the Plinko chip lands, we'll play that album!" declared Demakes. From where I was situated I couldn't explicitly see where the album covers were placed along the bottom of the Plinko board, but when I saw the chip nestle beside some pegs on the far right, I knew it...and immediately cringed.
"We're gonna play our best fucking record," Demakes enthused, "In with the Out Crowd!"
And with that, the crowd almost completely died. A whoooole lotta mere standing in place ensued, compared to the lively skanking and dancing the audience had been previously partaking in. Luckily, Demakes was exaggerating when he said the band would play that album -- really, it was only selections off it. Another bit of luck was that they picked the album's better songs, as you can see below. Along the way the frontman cracked comments about the backlash: "You know why I love this album so much? Because you guys hate it so much." After their first two selections off it, he added "[see], we're halfway through already!"
Fortunately, the next winning contestant spun a wheel with all the album covers that landed on Pezcore, and we were treated to five straight selections from the fan favorite. The band played one more planned song, left the stage and came right back with four more that ended it well.
Is Less Than Jake relying on live gimmicks to retain their potentially dwindling fanbase? One could argue it, but one could also argue that they're merely doing something a lot of bands don't have the financial luxury of doing: putting on an actual show, which they certainly did here. 15-some-odd years into the game, you can't blame them for trying to mix it up a little bit. It added a little humor to the set and nearly ensured the crowd would still get to hear some of their best material.
All in all, another fine show from the ska-punk vets, and giving a glimmer of hope that their next album won't, simply put, blow.
Set list (9:51-11:02):
In with the Out Crowd:
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