Sunday, April 18, 2004

On the Stage

Less than Jake - Saturday, April 17 - Cat's Cradle

(faux grumble mode on)I just do not know what is wrong with the youth of today! Whatever happened to headlining bands starting the show at midnight-thirty? What the hell were we doing walking out of the Cradle before 11pm on a Saturday with the SHOW ALREADY OVER!?! Wimps!(faux grumble mode off)

While that really was weird, there was not a damn thing wrong with the show! I've been listening to Less than Jake since hearing "How's My Driving, Doug Hastings?" on a ska comp I picked up probably 6 years ago, which was the last time they played the Cat's Cradle, so this was the first time I'd had a chance to see them live. You really have to like a band that writes songs like "Johnny Quest Think We're Sell-Outs", "Help Save the Youth of America from Exploding" and "The Science of Selling Yourself Short" to start with and they manage to take the average sort of alienated youth anthems popular with the Dawson's Creek set and somehow make them sound, well, joyous! It was a sell-out crowd (many of whom were apparently there to see the middle band - The Early November - who sounded like a Dawson's Creek band but, unfortunately, without the joy - just extra helpings of angst. I'll give EarlyNov credit for being tight and actually having stage presence (no shoegazers they) and they did indeed have the younger set moshing to the point of exhaustion (a fact not unnoticed by LtJ's Chris who gave them a good-natured hard time for being too tired to keep crowd-surfing), but ultimately, they were pretty damn boring.

Not so Less than Jake - they rocked the house for a good long set and a three-song encore (then apparently split in search of a Brazilian barbecue joint they thought they remembered from 6 years ago - my guess is they were probably too drunk to realize they were actually at Time Out). Chris and Roger's voices are different enough that they play well against each other and Buddy is a fscking awesome trombone player! Suffice it to say, they get a huge thumbs up from me - catch them if you can!

If you have a broadband connection and want to check out a video, click here.

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