Less Than Jake / The Menzingers

Less Than Jake / The Menzingers: live on a boatlive on a boat (2010)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

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

While I've since broadened my horizons and branched out at least somewhat into other arenas of taste, Less Than Jake remains a cornerstone band of my introduction into "punk"--as they are for many, most likely. So while I maybe could have lived without ever seeing the band again (save a nearby show .

While I've since broadened my horizons and branched out at least somewhat into other arenas of taste, Less Than Jake remains a cornerstone band of my introduction into "punk"--as they are for many, most likely. So while I maybe could have lived without ever seeing the band again (save a nearby show involving Hello Rockview, Borders & Boundaries or Losing Streak being played in full...maybe one day...), there was no way I could miss them play The Temptress--a boat situated in the New York harbor, currently in the midst of its months-long concert cruise series. No stage. And the Menzingers opening? I'm there.

Let's face it: This show was $30 in advance plus whatever online fees for a long-running and fairly popular punk band, and their sole opener comparatively green behind the ears. So I wasn't sure how many fans the Menzingers would really draw, expecting to be the lone supporter present. I was glad to be wrong--a small handful of guys and gals were stationed close to the amps and singing along to every song (more or less). And since they were the only band, they were given a generous 40 minutes; I don't think they play that long headlining a standard Brooklyn space show. But it gave them time to play an excellently chosen set spanning their two full-lengths and 7", and everyone was stoked--including some bros who gave them love in the form of some beer-soaked push-mosh; trying to keep your balance on a swaying floor only made it a little more interesting.

It was a pretty big spot for the band yet still had that intimacy of a smaller show they'd play, so I was pretty pleased, and one has to guess their few fans here were too.

Set list (8:30-9:10):

  1. They Speak of My Drinking, But Never of My Thirst
  2. I Was Born
  3. A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology
  4. Rivalries
  5. Home Outgrown
  6. Straight to Hell [The Clash]
  7. Sunday Morning
  8. Who's Your Partner
  9. Deep Sleep
  10. Chamberlain Waits
  11. Lilith Avi
  12. Alpha Kappa Fall Off a Balcony

My +1 and I used the time in between bands to pick up a $7 plate of food from hot trays being served in the back: salad, meatballs, ziti and chicken. It was only lukewarm, but served its purpose. It was a hefty portion, though, and I was still finishing it when Less Than Jake was set to play 20 minutes later. The tiny floor space facing the band was immediately packed out, while others lined the sides, the balcony and staircase to get a better glimpse surrounding a completely frenzied and exhilarated crowd at the front and center. But even those on the side danced and skanked it up, pretending it was still 1996. As far as how small this show felt, Roger Manganelli summed up the sentiment well when--with a "roof" hanging a couple feet above drummer Vinnie Fiorello's head--he remarked, "This is like a basement show. I didn't know we were playing a basement show!"

The band's set seemed to reflect that--just look at it. It was noticeably heavy on Losing Streak (Hello Rockview and Anthem following), perhaps the band sensing this was a slightly elder crowd craving the old favorites. They integrated plenty of goofy/serious banter, but I especially remember Manganelli harping on his desire to play some new material from their forthcoming EP, much to the rest of the band (and crowd?)'s apparent chagrin. They also included a couple tracks from their last good (and bad) albums ("Does the Lion City Still Roar?", "A Still Life Franchise"), but that newer stuff seemed few and far between. Silly interludes made it too, like "Mississippi Mud" and a take on the "Hungry Hungry Hippos" theme. But the best of these little tidbits were the sound clips from certain songs ("Last One Out of Liberty City," f.e.) that found the crowd rejoicing loudly when they played over the boat's version of a PA.

Toward the end, a few fans had managed to climb onto the edge of the balcony and began diving off onto the crowd. Whether this riled up on-board security I wasn't sure, but I didn't see any melees ensue, so maybe not. It was merely testament to just how cool this whole thing was.

LTJ were a little bit scrappy, and probably cramped in that space, but it was perfect for the atmosphere of the show. Bang-up set list, great performance and probably the most intimate space I'll ever get to see them play. On a boat.

Set list (9:31-10:56):
  1. ?
  2. Sugar in Your Gas Tank
  3. Does the Lion City Still Roar?
  4. A Still Life Franchise
  5. How's My Driving, Doug Hastings?
  6. Liquor Store
  7. National Anthem
  8. Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts
  9. Automatic
  10. We, The Uninspired
  11. Look What Happened
  12. Last One Out of Liberty City
  13. The Science of Selling Yourself Short
  14. Conviction Notice
  15. Plastic Cup Politics
  16. Never Going Back to New Jersey
  17. Scott Farcas Takes It on the Chin
  18. Hungry Hungry Hippos
  19. Mississippi Mud
  20. The Ghosts of Me and You
  21. History of a Boring Town
  22. Shindo
  23. Dopeman
  24. Gainesville Rock City
  25. All My Best Friends Are Metalheads


People who liked this also liked:
The Get Up Kids - Simple ScienceRuiner - Prepare to Be Let DownModern Life Is War - Midnight in AmericaModern Life Is War - WitnessThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangUnited Nations - Never Mind the Bombings, Here's Your Six Figures [7-inch]The Republic of Wolves - VarunaThe Republic of Wolves - The CartographerThe Ataris - So Long, AstoriaBigwig - Unmerry Melodies

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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.
Skibz777 (August 26, 2010)

The first time I saw LTJ in Anaheim a few years back they played 'Losing Streak' in it's entirety, start to finish, in addition to a regular set. As I was perhaps the only one in attendance who was more interested in hearing POST-'Losing Streak' material, I wasn't thrilled, but admired their dedication to their old-school fans.

Regardless of setlist, LTJ always put on an awesome show...they never half-ass anything live.

jakegreen (August 26, 2010)

"or Losing Streak being played in full...maybe one day..."

the first half of their set last time they played in baltimore was losing streak minus 107 and 8 ball. good shit.

VeryEmergency (August 25, 2010)

Less Than Jake opened with "Anchor" from the 'Short Music for Short People' comp

damnitsderek (August 25, 2010)

Setlists are win. Show sounds like it was just dandy.

Piata (August 24, 2010)

I'm somewhat disappointed in Less Than Jake. If there was ever a time to finish a set with "Abandon Ship", this was it.

nonemorepunk (August 24, 2010)

Sounds like a good show. And LTJ did play all 6 albums a few years ago for 6 nights only in 6 different venues around Florida and then in London Astoria II for 6 nigths also. The six albums shows were pretty amazing. Borders and Boundaries was great. It's a shame they don't play more off that now. Haven't seen them since those 6 shows. Wouldn't mind seeing them again for the 16th time. They never put on a bad show even if the setlist is terrible. Around the time of In With The Out Crowd was the worst to see them live. That was a terrible album.

Jelone (August 24, 2010)

Got-damn I wish I went to this. I still haven't heard Menzingers play the new album live, even though I've had plenty of chances.

Also LTJ is the bees' knees.

carlo_cabinetti (August 24, 2010)

Would have gone for The Menzingers alone, but when the hell was the last time LTJ played a bad gig? Sounded awesome.

mattp330 (August 24, 2010)

vinnie and his record company are big into not sending you an order that you paid for. they are really good at it

phooky (August 24, 2010)

I don't like LTJ at all and came to this show only for The Menzingers, and it was totally worth it.

I agree that it felt just as intimate as one of their shows at 538 Johnson.

Great set, too

Rastid (August 24, 2010)

brutal. was out of the country.

quickattack (August 24, 2010)

Great setlists from both bands. Sound like a swell time

Cos (August 24, 2010)

This sounds like a good show. I haven't bought a Less Than Jake album in years and I still recognize 80% of the set list.

TeaEssAre (August 24, 2010)

I was really hoping this wouldnt get reviewed because i had miss this because of work. my worst fears were met, and this show seems awesome.

lanceuppercut (August 24, 2010)

We, the Uninspired? Lucky.

skankbook (August 24, 2010)

So jealous, "National Anthem" is my favorite LTJ song!

swiftjustice (August 24, 2010)

sounds awesome

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