Less Than Jake / Reel Big Fish

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.

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 already tearing through the set. For a three-piece, they were devastatingly loud above all. Considering that factor, they also looked and sounded decent, but enjoyment really only goes as far as it does for their studio albums, which isn't exactly a marathon. Not a terrible time, though, and it seemed they certainly got the crowd moving early on.

Set list (?-6:55; incomplete):

  1. Dinkas When I Close My Eyes
  2. -----
  3. Hard as Fuck
  4. Sunshine Fist Magnet
  5. -----
  6. ?
  7. ?
  8. -----
  9. cover (?)
  10. -----
  11. Walking Revolution
Streetlight Manifesto were their usual selves, regarding their tight playing and set list. Every band member hollered along with the lines, while the brass section nailed every horn line, and every extended instrumental fit the context of the song perfectly. Per habit they squeezed in a shortened "Keasbey Nights" into "Point/Counterpoint," and it ended up being their sole Keasbey Nights-era song, but with a 34-minute set time no one seemed to mind entirely. Frontman Tomas Kalnoky has been mentioning at various tour stops that their new album is completed and tonight was no exception; however, Kalnoky failed to fill us in on any additional information. There was a surprising number in attendance for a band one would figure on calling cult faves by this point, and they were fairly rabid. The one new song they played was extremely brief and laced with the band's hyperactive upstrokes, but seemed solid enough.

Set list (7:20-7:54):
  1. We Are the Few
  2. Failing, Flailing
  3. -----
  4. new song
  5. -----
  6. That'll Be the Day
  7. Point/Counterpoint ["Keasbey Nights" within]
  8. -----
  9. Here's to Life
Ever since "Sell Out" first hit the airwaves in 1996, I've somehow managed to never come across Reel Big Fish in the live setting. However, I'd read enough about it and watched enough live footage of them in that the set was relatively predictable, if not pretty fun. The band went a full hour just about spanning their entire catalog, hitting all their live trademarks. This included Scott Klopfenstein's falsetto, which got a little old after several dozen wails. The band also played all seven genre takes on "S.R.": normal/reggae, punk rock, "sweet-ass" blues, disco, country western, death metal, and what one would assume was nĂ¼-emo (the verse had a weird Taking Back Sunday vibe, complete with crying at its end; Aaron Barrett qualified it by saying "that's right, bluegrass!"). Between each of those takes, Barrett would prop the band up as "masters of every genre," with drummer Ryland Steen slamming his kit and the band shouting "MASTER! MASTER!" Their Metallica fascination didn't end there, either: earlier on the band had played "Enter Sandman" all the way up to its first chorus. While not quite blowing me away, Reel Big Fish did put on an expectedly entertaining show.

Set list (8:20-9:24):
  1. Sell Out
  2. Another F.U. Song
  3. I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too
  4. -----
  5. Your Guts (I Hate 'Em)
  6. -----
  7. Ban the Tube Top
  8. -----
  9. You Don't Know
  10. -----
  11. She Has a Girlfriend Now
  12. -----
  13. The New Version of You
  14. -----
  15. Enter Sandman [Metallica cover up to its first chorus]
  16. The Set Up (You Need This)
  17. Where Have You Been
  18. Everything Sucks
  19. -----
  20. Hate You
  21. S.R. [1. normal/reggae, 2. punk rock, 3. blues, 4. disco, 5. country western, 6. death metal, 7. "emo"]
  22. Beer
  23. Take on Me [A Ha cover]
Speaking of entertaining, Less Than Jake has a refreshing setup for this particular tour. After the venue emptied out considerably (there was still a massive crowd there, but Roseland wasn't nearly as packed out as it usually is) and the band was called onto the stage game show-announcer style, the "Price Is Right"-style setup was revealed. The band's name was even in the same font on a center display, and Chris Demakes came out in a yellow suit and with a stupidly parodic host name ("Bob Boner," which sounded more like leftover material from The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show or a 1960s-era porn star).

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):
  1. All My Best Friends Are Metalheads
  2. Overrated (Everything Is)
  3. Johnny Quest (Thinks We're Sellouts)
  4. -----
  5. History of a Boring Town
  6. Sugar in Your Gastank
  7. -----
    In with the Out Crowd:
  8. Soundtrack of My Life
  9. Let Her Go
  10. -----
  11. A Still Life Franchise
  12. -----
  13. P.S. Shock the World
  14. -----
  15. Liquor Store
  16. Big
  17. Growing Up on a Couch
  18. -----
  19. Out of the Crowd
  20. -----
  21. Three Quarts Drunk
  22. -----
  23. Look What Happened
  24. Encore:
  25. Rest of My Life
  26. My Very Own Flag
  27. -----
  28. Last One Out of Liberty City
  29. Gainesville Rock City


People who liked this also liked:
Strike Anywhere - Exit EnglishThis Is Hell - This Is HellCrime In Stereo - The ContractRuiner - What Could Possibly Go Right...Shook Ones - Slaughter of the Insole [7 inch]Crime in Stereo - The Troubled StatesideAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldChampion / Betrayed - SplitThe Clash - London Calling

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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.
Anonymous (August 3, 2007)

Last night in LA, Losing Streak came up both times. They played nearly the whole thing!

RBF played last, and they were great, as were Streetlight. Awesome show.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

i saw the baltimore show. it was amazing! i drove five hrs to see it. i am also going to the pittsbugh show.

joetheinvincible (July 27, 2007)

We got In With the Out Crowd and Losing Streak, but the encore was golden

Rest of My Life
Plastic Cup Politics
Short Fuse Burning
Science of Selling Yourself Short
Gainesville Rock City

Streetlight played (pretty sure of the order)

The Ants Go Marching (intro)
Everything Goes Numb
We Are the Few
A Better Place, A Better Time
Crash (new song)
If and When We Rise (about 6 and a half minutes long with a lengthy improv section)
Point-Counterpoint/Keasby Nights
Here's to Life (10 minute long jam)

Wish we had That'll Be the Day or A Moment of Violence for the opening song though.

misterspike (July 24, 2007)

Caught this tour in Ft. Lauderdale last night. Sold out crowd of 2000 and crazy all night. Easily the most fun show I've been to this year, with LTJ's album shows in St. Pete last February right up there.

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

When i saw this tour at the electric factory in philly me and my friends had a great time. LTJ played anthem, but followed up with B&B so I was happy. Streetlight only played 5 songs but god they were intense. AAA sucked at this show though. All i could hear was the bass drum and the singer kind of mumble/growling over it.

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

What was Streetlight's set when they played for 1 h 5 min? Anything unusual?

ThoughtRiotAF578 (July 23, 2007)

we got borders and boundries and hello rockveiw.
also we got platic cup politics as an encore.

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

Streetlight played for 1:05 in NJ -- pretty sweet compared to this set length.

ChokingVictim (July 23, 2007)

Saw this in Norfolk. AAA played before the scheduled show time as well. We got "Pezcore" and "Borders & Boundaries" as far as albums go.

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

I agree that the transition from AAA & Streetlight to RBF & LTJ is pretty drastic. But I actually liked it. It made the show seem way more expansive and creative, with so many wildy different philosophies on music. I loved this tour.

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

AAA and Streetlight Manifesto would be better off doing their own tour together, play longer sets and cut out this LTJ/RBF bull.

WarIsPeace (July 23, 2007)

I'd like to say the Pezcore songs make up for all the In With the Outcrowd songs, but I don't know. And they could've at least played 1 song (Plastic Cup Politics maybe?) from Anthem.

klonny (July 23, 2007)

HEY NIVEK82. (That was just to grab attention)

Tomas was informed that Catch 22 would release Keasbey Nights, unmixed and exactly the way it was. I think Streetlight had a grudge against Catch 22 at the time, maybe not, but Tomas didn't like the original sound quality of the album, so he announced that'd he'd remake it with his own band.

Anyway, I'm watching this show tomorrow night. Its gonna be great.

Anonymous (July 22, 2007)

Just got back from the show. Freakin awesome. AAA played for seriously 15 minutes. They were solid except for Angels in the Centerfold, which seemed way too forced. As expected, Streetlight stole the show -from the set opener Everything Went Numb to the closer Here's to Life, they grabbed us by the balls and didnt let go. Reel Big Fish was solid, no surprises but very enjoyable. I was completely satisfied with the show at this point, so LTJ just seemed like a bonus. Finally, Less Than Jake took the stage and played a near-perfect (LTJ) set. We got Hello Rockview then Losing Streak (it looked like they switched IWTOC with another Losing Streak on the spin wheel-guess they learned, which is good news for you future stops). Anyways, to anyone on the fence about this show: GO! You do like good old fashioned fun, dont you?

Anonymous (July 21, 2007)

I'm getting ready to leave for the show. Please please please just give me losing streak or hello rockview. please!

facetofacereunion08 (July 21, 2007)

i will be so upset if the show i go to gets anthem or iwtoc. honestly i dont know which is worse...i think "ghosts of you and me" is the most irritationg song they have ever written. crossing my fingers for pez, losing streak, hello rockview, or borders...hell i'd even take losers, kings

niveK82 (July 21, 2007)

Thomas has stated that he didn't want to do the Keasby Nights thing. After hearing a few interviews and the coversation at the end of '1234 1234' I have put together my own theory on it.

Victory says 'We need money, let's release Catch-22's Keasbys Nights. We will give it updated artwork and maybe remaster it'

Thomas says 'Please don't it is a quick cash grab and I wouldn't like it if you did it. I would rather rerecord it myself'

Victory says 'Well then, you rerecord it yourself (quickly) or we were just rerelease the old one'

There are other factors in there, maybe Victory came up with the idea to rerecord it. Maybe Thomas just wanted it under Streetlight Manifesto's name and not Catch-22's. He has said that he doesn't want to push the album. Which is why they don't sell it on tour and they don't play songs off of it.

Anonymous (July 21, 2007)

To Streetlight Manifesto: So, I bought Everything Goes Numb when it came out and loved it. Then I waited 3 years for your new album only to find it was a rerecording of something I already had. I thought, "oh well, thats cool, there's better musicianship and different solos. I'd would've preferred new stuff but this'll do." And I even learned to love that album since it's release.

But now, you make your fans wait all that time for the "new" and then all you play off it is half of the poppiest song? That's what I call lame. Why would you put it out if you arent even gonna play it? The band-fan relationship is a two way street, you know? You might be "here for you," but you're here because of us.

Anonymous (July 21, 2007)

Fuck, Less Than Jake's stage show sounds awesome this tour -- making my life even more difficult. This tour plays Cleveland the same night as the Rentals/Copeland and Modest Mouse. I originally planned on going to MM (then going to the Rentals in Cleveland the next night), but now this is making me question my decision... Agh!


Yeah... I had the same problem. I ended up picking The Rentals just because I have a feeling there's about a 99% chance they'll never be back in Cleveland. Also, if RBF/LTJ was anywhere other than the Agora Theater I'd consider it, but the theater blows.

punkinohio (July 21, 2007)

if less than jake doesnt play al's war once before this show hits cincy i'm not going to wait around for them after rbf, or go at all. their best song ever.

mynameisbud (July 21, 2007)

no songs from Anthem!

maverick (July 20, 2007)

Fuck, Less Than Jake's stage show sounds awesome this tour -- making my life even more difficult. This tour plays Cleveland the same night as the Rentals/Copeland and Modest Mouse. I originally planned on going to MM (then going to the Rentals in Cleveland the next night), but now this is making me question my decision... Agh!


Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

I went to this show thinking it wouldn't sell out and I could buy tickets at the box office. Unfortunetly when I went to the box office they were sold out. Me and some friends went around to see if anyone had tickets and got 5 off a scalper for 40 a piece, needless to say it was the dumbest thing I've ever done because they were so obviously fake and he made off with $200 from us. It sucked we kind of deserved it for being suckers though

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

In With the Out Crowd refers to outed homosexuals, so the goal of the album was to be really gay. IWTOC could be the gayest album ever, so I say Mission accomplished LTJ!

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

B-sides is good. Would be better if it were better mixed, though.

I can't believe LTJ still plays Out Crowd crap now that they don't have their label telling them what songs to play.

GlassPipeMurder (July 20, 2007)

Dammit, I just know we're gonna get In With the Out Crowd and B is for B Sides or some shit

B is for B-Sides is actually damn good in my opinion. Bridge and Tunnel Authority and Last Rites to Sleepless Nights are two of my fav's.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

The Columbus show is one of the last ones.

Still can't wait.

I've seen all the bands on this set except AAA, and I know their sets will be pretty much the same, but I am still pumped.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

Dammit, I just know we're gonna get In With the Out Crowd and B is for B Sides or some shit

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

boston show was sick, we got losing streak borders and boundries!

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

Gay review by an even gayer reviewer. GG Brian.

thebiglebowski (July 20, 2007)

I don't know enough AAA to list there setlist from Detroit, but I can add that they played "All Fall Down" and covered J Geils Band's "Centerfold"

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

in buffalo plinko and the big wheel both landed on losing streak

they played the whole fucking record

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

Straight Talk: Suicide Machines Self titled is music for Douche Bags

inagreendase (July 20, 2007)

Straight talk: I don't think the Suicide Machines recorded a bad, or even below average, album.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

Can anyone post the full AAA setlist for this or any other show of this tour? Thanks.

Score is for the setlists.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

I was there last night and I would say a third of the audience left when the plinco chip landed on IWTOC. It was awful!! LTJ has to give up on the album. They have to know that their fanbase friggin hates it. IWTOC lacks the energy and horn sections that make every other LTJ album great. It reminds me of the Suicide Machines self titled album. After that atrocity they listened to their fans and came back with some great albums. Maybe now since their off a major they will listen to the fans and come out with Losing Streak the sequel.

jt (July 20, 2007)

the boston show was kick ass! ltj played all the good songs from losing streak. Streetlight Manifesto was really tight as well as Reel Bibg Fish. AAA was a good opener

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

the three ska/punk songs off In With the Out Crowd are some of the best songs LTJ have ever made. I don't understand why folks wouldn't be happy to hear them live.

have you talked to chris about this, roger? cause he seems to understand...

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

the three ska/punk songs off In With the Out Crowd are some of the best songs LTJ have ever made. I don't understand why folks wouldn't be happy to hear them live.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

AAA as a three piece? What the hell?

trumpet player had a family emergency, so he wasn't there

magicbubblegirl (July 20, 2007)

this was the WORST less than jake show i have ever been to. if they know their last cd sucked, why would they play about 7 songs or so off it? terrible idea.
thanks a lot chuck nasty.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

Yeah, they pull it out at shows every now and then. Second time of four that I've seen them do it.

inagreendase (July 20, 2007)

I kinda figured it was DK. Wasn't sure on what song though.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

Solid review, you nailed every point.

AAA was a three piece because the trumpet player was sick or something. It worked out, they played more off 24 Hour, which ruled.

People left before LTJ because those people were stupid frat boy's getting there bro sesh on and were only there to see Reel Big Fish. To quote one of them:


Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

AAA as a three piece? What the hell?

FatTony (July 20, 2007)

While I really fucking wish this tour was coming to Seattle, the chance of hearing that much from IWTOC is none-too-appealing. Now that I think about it, I don't think LTJ's been here in over 2 years (not counting last year's Warped).

And 1-hour sets from each band!? Almost every time I've seen either of them, they always play *much* longer than that, RBF especially.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

Damn, Brian, you lose total punk points. The AAA cover was Holiday in Cambodia. They also played Stuck in a Rut, Committing the Truth, and basically all the other songs they always play.

Yeah, it sucked that it landed on In With The Out Crowd, but the Price is Right bit was fun and they played the better songs off that CD. They know it sucks, they didn't play anything to terrible, and they made up for it with their personality.

SumWon (July 20, 2007)

Damn, I need to righ their wheel so it lands on Hello Rockview and Losing Streak. Those are the only LTJ albums I even have.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

and the price is right theme made it all the better

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

we got lucky in baltimore they played stuff from Hello Rockview and then Losing Streak. It was the best show ive ever seen

PJZ (July 20, 2007)

dude i hella wish this was on the west coast ...

SumWon (July 20, 2007)

The Streetlight Manifesto set looks somewhat dissapointing. I hope they play a little long and throw in more off of Keasbey Nights at my stop.

Torgo (July 20, 2007)

Scratch that, it was 6 songs. Still sucks though.

Torgo (July 20, 2007)

7 songs off In With The Out Crowd? That sucks. When my friend went to Philly the two albums they did 5 songs off of were Anthem and Boarders... I wonder what they played at the NJ show I was too lazy to go to.

Anonymous (July 20, 2007)

ok, that price is right thing sounded awesome. Now I kinda wish I went to this show.

glasspipemurder (July 20, 2007)

cannot WAIT to see this omaha, though i'm only going for AAA and Streetlight Manifesto.

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