Less Than Jake/Sugarcult/Teen Idols - live in St. Louis (Cover Artwork)

Less Than Jake / Sugarcult / Teen Idols

live in St. Louis (2002)

live show

Wow, did this sure live up to the hype! For a long time now, I've heard nothing but fantastic things about Less Than Jake's live shows, and now I can finally say that I've been to one, and that it lived up to each and every one of my expectations.

The show took place at a venue called The Pageant, which was a cool place. Good pit area, Good standing/sitting area, and a balcony. Though the security regulations for the pit were very annoying and made me mad.

First up was Whippersnapper, who previously were not scheduled to appear. This was pretty much my first exposure to the band, and they played pretty well, though not for very long. It was nothing terribly amazing, but nothing disspointing, either.

Next was the Teen Idols, who played some solid punk rock. I thought I had pinpointed the sound of the Teen Idols, because I knew a couple of their songs, but man, their set was way different than I imagined. It was a really cool set, and the band played very well. Roger from Less Than Jake even ran out onto the stage during a song suddenly and did some back-up vocals, gave the drummer a sip of his beer, and then ran off again. The crowd loved it.

Next was a bigger band, Sugarcult, who I was really looking forward to seeing. Their debut album is awesome, and I think the band is criticized way too much for the work that they do. Just because their pop-punk, everyone seems to hate them, but I definitely think they deserve more credit, than say, blink-182, who do deserve the insults they get. At least Sugarcult tries to bring some originality to the genre. Anyway, they played a great set, and performed all their best stuff, which certainly pleased the mosh pit'ers. They even ended with a fairly good cover of "I Wanna be Sedated" by the Ramones. My only complaint was that they tried to sound more aggressive than they actually are. I have no problem with aggressive punk, except when it's not supposed to sound like it.

Then, the big moment came, and Less Than Jake came on stage. They entered with a "Star Wars" theme, had their big banners up, confetti was everywhere, and the whole beginning presentation was great. They hadn't even finished one song, and I was already loving it.

They played a great mix of old and new songs, and played them all exceptionally well. Unfortunately, I didn't know a lot of them really well, since the only album of theirs that I own is "Borders and Boundries," which from what I can tell, is nothing like their older stuff. But, even still, the music was astounding, and they had a great set. But they didn't just play music.

They played this game, "The Dirty Rat," which apparently, is a new thing of theirs, where they bring three girls from the pit on stage to have a guy smell their armpits to find out who smells the worst. Pretty nasty, but still funny. Later, Chris even called bandmate Buddy, who was having surgery on the East Coast (he was being filled in by a guy from Anthrax) on his cell phone. Even more funny stuff.

They also chatted about their new album, and asked the crowd about the Warped Tour. Expected results came up: NOFX and Bad Religion rocked; Good Charlotte and Something Corporate sucked. Then they ended their set with a two song encore, including "Gainesville Rock City" as "St. Louis Rock City." The whole set had the crowd going nuts, and everyone loved it. Less Than Jake really wanted everyone to have a great time, and everyone certainly did.

Overall, this was, by far, the best show I have ever been to. I know I haven't been to as many shows as the rest of you, but for me, this was definitely the best (if you exclude big festivals like past Warped Tours), whether the bands be national acts or local acts. And I can't imagine any other band topping Less Than Jake's amazing show. If you've never seen them live before, and get the chance to, don't miss out. You will love it.