Less Than Jake / Punchline / Bigwig / Teen Idols - live in Des Moines (Cover Artwork)

Less Than Jake / Punchline / Bigwig / Teen Idols

live in Des Moines (2003)

live show

This was my second Less Than Jake show, and I was really looking foward to it. I wasn't sure how it would stand up against their other show I saw, which was in St. Louis. Thankfully, it was nearly perfect by comparison.

The show took place at a little venue called Toad Holler, which, at first, seems like a really crappy place for a punk show. But when the show got going it was great, considering how the stage was just barely off the floor. In St. Louis, it was a big stage. Also, the security wasn't so tight about moshing this time, so I was able to get as close as I wanted. And since this was Central Iowa, there weren't a whole lot of people attending in the first place.

The Teen Idols, the band on their previous tour I saw, opened up the show splendidly. They really kept the crowd's attention, and played a great set of melodic punk. I'll definitely be buying their new album. And once again, Roger from Less Than Jake rushed out on stage. And by the way, is it just me, or does the lead singer of the Teen Idols look a lot like Quentin Tarantino?

Next, Bigwig performed. I really enjoy their music, and I was looking foward to seeing them. They played some great hardcore, and "Sink or Swim" was my favorite song they played. I also loved their cover of the Cheers TV theme.

Third was a band I had little information on, Punchline. I thought they were good, even if some of the crowd didn't. They had a nice combo of pop-punk and hardcore influences (they reminded me of Finch). I think they were a little ambitious though, directly opening for Less Than Jake. I don't think some of the crowd took them all that seriously.

Next, came Less Than Jake. Once again they opened to the "Star Wars" theme, and blasted into an excellent variety of songs. Toilet paper and confetti flew everywhere, and some dude in his underwear and a mask was goofing off on stage (hadn't seen that before). The highlights of the evening were "Look What Happened" (which everyone sang along to), "All My Friends Are Metalheads," "She's Gonna Break Soon" (a single from their new album, Anthem), and "Gainesville Rock City," which they closed with. They didn't joke around as much with the crowd this time, besides mentioning the Good Charlotte twins and kidding about Avril Lavigne being on the whole Warped Tour this year, which caused a load of boos from the crowd.

While I was fairly excited this time around, I still sort of expected everything I saw. But I had a great time. Mostly because this show had better opening bands, and a much better venue. And Less Than Jake, as always, ruled. It's too bad that a brilliant band like Less Than Jake has to go from beloved headliners with screaming fans on their own tour to opening for New Found Glory and Good Charlotte in two days. I'm sure half of the crowd on that tour won't even know who Less Than Jake is.