Opening Bands: Westbound Train, Suburban Legends
Date: June 26th 2008
Venue: Roseland, NYC
Less Than Jake just released their new album GNV FLA off Sleep It Off Records and I saw them play some songs off of it on Thursday in New York City. The band is currently on tour with Goldfinger, Westbound Train and Suburban Legends on the Shout It Loud Tour. I saw Less Than Jake with Reel Big Fish last year around my birthday and wanted to see them again. The show was a good one so don’t miss out if the tour comes to your city!
The night started off with getting stuck in the typical George Washington Bridge traffic and getting down to the venue when the doors opened. I was told I was on the list but like with most shows, that wasn’t the case. I called up the publicist and he called the management to take care of it (Thanks Tim!). 20 minutes later, a tour manager comes strolling by and I see my name on a piece of paper. I tell him that’s me, and he gives the passes and paper to the girl behind the window instead. He tells me that they just got the call or something, and that it will have to take a few minutes after he makes a few calls. And that I should sit tight, relax but he said all this as if I was some 10 year old kid going to my first concert. I was kind of annoyed at this but decided to just keep my mouth shut (well until now). I’m sorry that I had to wait a half hour for something that was your fault and not mine. There was no reason why this manager had to be an asshole to me. Whatever, if the management gets pissed I typed this, so what. If you don’t like your job, than stop doing it and making other people miserable because someone else messed up. I was kind of surprised I would experience something like this at a LTJ show. I thought I might experience this for some arena rock concert, not a ska punk show.
Suburban Legends were the first band of the show and played a fun, entertaining set. I never saw them before or heard their music before so I didn’t know what to expect. They started their set with some choreographed dance number and I was laughing. It was fun to watch, but I hope the band doesn’t take that stuff too seriously. I know I didn’t and not sure the crowd like them doing NSYNC type of dancing. SL certainly brings a different element to a ska show. They seem to mix in disco & funk into their music as well. I liked a few songs of theirs and gonna check out their albums to see if I like them or not.
The next band was Westbound Train. I thought Suburban Legends should have played 2nd because it would have been a better transition for Goldfinger. I saw Westbound Train last year 10 minutes from my house at Circleville, NY. They played the Big Orange Bonanza, well even though I wouldn’t consider that show big. I liked their ska-soul music, it’s not the most exciting thing in the world but it gets people moving. They played a lot of songs that I recognized off their Hellcat Records’ album “Transitions.” Obi is a good singer, and the rest of the band is great as well. My only complaint is Obi tends to get too James-Brown-ish sometimes. Other than that, I thought Westbound Train had a strong set.
The first co-headliner of the evening was up next, and that was Goldfinger. It’s been a good 3 or 4 years since I last saw Goldfinger. It might have been at the Chance with Ignite? The guitarist, Charlie, had rejoined the band and I was happy about that since he makes for some great photos. He was spinning, jumping and going crazy all over the place. The band had a stage walkway to the crowd so that made things interesting in the photo pit for me. I had to move around the security guards AND duck underneath the walkway when trying to get shots of John and Charlie. I only had 2 songs to shoot so I did the best I could and got some cool jump shots of the band. Musically, I thought they had an excellent set filled with old songs. They played one new song the entire night and that was “Get Up,” which is my favorite off their new record. It would have been cool to hear “One More Time” as well but I’d rather hear older songs over that I guess. It was great to hear some of these songs with a horn section. They played “Superman” with a horn section and that might have been the first time I heard that song with horns live. Other notable songs from their set included “Here in the Bedroom,” “Counting The Days,” “Open Your Eyes,” “Mable,” and “Miles Away.” During Mable, a good number of kids jumped on the stage and sang along with the band. During Miles Away, Darren went into the crowd and picked out a kid to eat a Twinkie out of his ass. Yes, you heard me correctly. He did this the last show I saw them and I was grossed out then, and it’s still gross. It’s funny but gross. Just imagine how sweaty and smelly Darren’s ass is playing the drums. Then having a Twinkie shoved up your ass and having some random kid eat it. I’d be brushing my teeth every 5 minutes for a month. Blech. The band finished their set with the cover of “99 Luftballons.”
It was great to see the band again!
Less Than Jake always have an awesome live show. If Buddy and JR aren’t playing their horns, they are screaming & dancing all over the stage. Roger is always smiling, jumping around and posing for cameras. Chris loves to rock out and give the rock guitar faces to the cameras as well. Songwriter & drummer Vinnie is always quietly sitting the back, drumming away to the songs. The band always brings it their all each show and that’s why the kids love them. Less Than Jake came equipped with confetti this time, which I missed a grand photo op when the confetti was shot out. I wish I knew that was gonna happen! LTJ opened up with their new single “Does the Lion City Still Roar?” and I was singing alone to the chorus as I was taking pictures of the band. After that they played “Johnny Quest” and “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads.” Talk about a great way to start off a set! They played a lot of songs from Hello Rockview this time around and I liked that a lot. That’s one of my favorite albums, along with Losing Streak and their last album, In with the Out Crowd. After I got done shooting the 3 songs I was allowed to, I noticed how bad the sound was at the Roseland that night. I could barely hear the band talking in between songs. I’m not sure if the music sounded better in the back or not. Other notable songs from their set included “History of a Boring Town” “The Science of Selling Yourself Short,” “Rest of my Life,” and “How’s My Driving, Doug Hastings.” I loved that they played at least one from their last album, even though fans hate that album for some reason. I happen to love it. For their encore, they played “Gainesville Rockcity” and with “Plastic Cup Politics.” Overall, despite the bullshit I dealt with in the beginning, it was an excellent show. Be sure to check it out at a city near you!