I arrived at the Engine Rooms just before Less than Jake set up on stage, everyone was buzzing and instantly I could tell we were in for a night of conviviality. Inside the room was busy, but with space still to move as people intently watched the stage waiting for the band to come on. Riled up and ready from the support acts Bigtopp and Trash Boat the crowd exploded as a detonation of energy from Less than Jake hit everyone square in the face. The room filled out more with people rushing back in from the smoking area.
You could tell they were loving it on stage, really playing to the audience, the trombone practically touching the front rows noses! Buddy Schaub fed the audience’s spirits keeping the joviality high alongside frontman Chris DeMakes who’s talking between songs was most amusing. He introduced ‘Good enough’ by saying “This song is going to make you shit your fucking pants.. simultaneously” and the room really did (figuratively.) The mosh pit was growing with more and more being sucked into the black hole of rowdiness.
They went on to perform ‘soundtrack of my life’ which apparently was “popular in Malaysia for about 3 minutes” playing it with the same force and togetherness as was originally played 9 years ago. It was at this point in the set they told us that they had a 3 year ban from Reading and Leeds festival according to Roger Manganelli because Chris was “a prick” the on stage banter continued to entertain and gave us a really good laugh and chance to catch our breath back from all the dancing.
More recently released ‘Give me something to believe in’ had a great bounce to it, a real good knees up song written because the band “still give a shit about good music.” They really got everyone involved for the last song rallying people to start a circle pit, they managed it well. The rambunctiousness didn’t stop there as some crowd surfers attempted to make their way across the crowd. A big shout from the audience bought the band back on stage for an encore that included ‘look what happened’ and ‘Gainesville Rock City’.
Their set was fantastic, so much enthusiasm from all band members which rubbed off on the audience through the whole set. They really rocked the stage, a great way for them to end their UK club tour for 2015. If I wasn’t already excited enough for Boomtown I sure am now, the ultimate warm up for what’s going to be a banging weekend. If you’re heading there make sure you catch them in the Town Center!
More photos to follow.