This was the first show I'd actually been to at Cat's Cradle in a little over a year. In fact, I think the last one I'd seen there was Less Than Jake on their last Spring tour. Unfortunately, I got sick halfway through their set the last time, so I was fortunate enough to catch them again this year at the same venue.
Of course, LTJ once again brought along their weird mix of opening acts (courtesy of drummer Vinnie's taste in music for his Fueled By Ramen record label and also Drive-Thru Records bands). I walked in to catch the last half of FBR's Days Away, who I assume entertained the handful of people that were already down in front of the stage. From what I caught, the band writes slow, melodic, and at times ambient soft rock. I didn't catch the names of any of their songs, so my apologies for having no set list for this band.
Drive-Thru Records' Hidden In Plain View took the stage next and played their brand of emo for the few fans they had in the crowd, in the process winning over some new followers as I saw several kids bobbing their heads and screaming in a pleasantly surprised manner of delight. As for me at the moment, I tried to hold a place towards the front of the crowd for when Less Than Jake came on, but decided on just standing on the small deck over to the side of the venue where I could actually watch the guys in perfect view, not too far away from the stage, and not be insanely uncomfortable and crushed by the packed crowd. Front row is highly overrated if you can't even enjoy the band you came to see. Anyways, walking away from the front during Hidden In Plain View didn't put a damper on my night, seeing as they definitely weren't my cup o' tea, but reguardless, I could see that at least half the crowd thoroughly enjoyed their thirty-minute set.
After HIPV walked off, fifteen minutes passed before Chicago-based Allister, who are also on DTR, jumped on stage and made a slight change of pace for those in the crowd yearning for fast, up-beat, pop-punk. I didn't mind their set much at all and caught myself tapping my feet to their songs, but was definitelygrowing impatient waiting for the band I'd come to see. Allister played about 45 minutes and seemed to play both new and old for their fans. The only songs I remember were the ones the band introduced: "None of My Friends Are Punk," "Somewhere On Fullerton," and "D2."
Allister concluded their set and after thirty minutes Gainesville's fabulous five came on stage, energy gleaming from each of their faces wearing these drunken shit-eating grins, gave a shout to the crowd, and went right into "How's My Driving Doug Hastings?" I thought the band starting with a Losing Streak song couldn't be topped, but sure enough right after the opener the band shot straight to "My Very Own Flag," which was fucking awesome, because the handful of times I've seen the guys play, they've never done any Pezcore songs. They continued to rock the sold out crowd, not missing a beat, chord, or "honk" as far as I could tell. I was very happy to see the band having as much energy as always and even happier to see them play such a great variety of songs and not sticking to any certain "hits" (leaving out "Dopeman" and "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads" for instance). Highlights of the night included the two new songs they played (both incorporating the horn section), Chris and Roger talking shit about Sire Records not wanting them to write "ska songs," and in particular, their performance on the songs "Brightest Bulb/Screws Fall Out" and "Al's War." After around 20 songs, the band closed down the venue with an encore of "Gainesville Rock City" (of course) and "Science Of Selling Yourself Short."
Besides the openers that I wasn't too fond of, the night was fantastic and Less Than Jake managed to blow me away yet again.
Set List (from oldest to newest):
- My Very Own Flag
- Sugar In Your Gas Tank
- Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts
- How's My Driving Doug Hastings?
- Just Like Frank
- Last One Out Of Liberty City
- Nervous In The Alley
- History Of A Boring Town
- Al's War
- Gainesville Rock City
- Welcome To The New South
- Ghost Of You And Me
- Look What Happened
- Science Of Selling Yourself Short
- Escape From The A-Bomb House
- The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out/Screws Fall Out
- Bridge And Tunnel Authority
- National Anthem
- New Song
- New Song