Concert Review

Less Than Jake’s First Show at Stage AE Pittsburgh

On a Wednesday night at Pittsburgh own Stage AE, probably the biggest punk rock/ska show this year has just taken place, and man was it energetic to say the least. Four bands stopped by Stage AE for the “Fat Tour 2013” which included: Get Dead, Masked Intruder, Pittsburgh’s own Anti-Flag, and the headliner Less Than Jake.

Now, Less Than Jake (LTJ) have come to Pittsburgh quite a lot since they started as a band more than 20 years ago! LTJ is one of the very few ska bands that still exists and actually still puts out new music on top of that. Anyway, they visit Pittsburgh a lot, and instead of playing at the usual spots (for them that is) like Mr. Smalls or Altar Bar, they deciding to go BIG by going to Stage AE. It is a challenge to fill that place sometimes; especially on a Wednesday night. LTJ saw no problem in the matter since, according to them that is, “Every day is a Friday night when you’re up on stage.” Pittsburgh has always been very loyal when it comes to punk rock and ska shows so the place did get pretty packed after everyone got out of all of the traffic going downtown.

As LTJ comes out onto the stage and the crowd already screaming at the top of their lungs, they jump right into it with a song off of their new album, “See the Light” called “Good Enough” followed by some good old classic songs: “Automatic”, “Sugar in Your Gas Tank”, and “Last One Out of Liberty City”. The band just kind of played all of those songs before they finally stopped to partake in their usual shenanigans with the crowd and each other. Now if you have never seen LTJ before, let me say this, they always have fun filled jokes and quick witty one-liners to go around all night long. It is always entertaining to see and it makes the show very enjoyable so it is more than just a concert, it’s a comedy skit too.

Leave it to LTJ though to pull two of the security guards up from down in the pit area, to have them come up on stage and have a beer chugging contest. Well… that didn’t happen because they were told “no”; the security guards could not drink. On to plan B then, they kept the security guards up on stage for one song, but had two women from the crowd come up on stage, chug the beers for the guys, then had a competition of who could dance the most provocative (slutty) with one of the guards. Hilarious none the less, and embarrassing too but that’s a ska show for you.

After all of the funny stunts LTJ pulled, they did play a lot more. Obviously they had to joke around with the crowd asking if they could quit playing early because they were “getting old”. Of course that didn’t work so on with the show! Of course though, they played some classics like I said before, like: “The Science of Selling Yourself Short”, “Scott Farcas Takes it on the Chin”, “History of a Boring Town”, and finishing up with, you guessed it “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads”. When the band came back out for their encore, it was probably the most energetic I have seen the crowd the whole night. When I say everybody and their mothers, I truly do mean EVERYBODY AND THEIR MOTHERS was in the pit skanking the night away and having a blast singing and dancing together. The songs they played for their encore were: “The Rest of My Life”, “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts”, “Plastic Cup Politics”, and lastly “Gainesville Rock City”.

Remember people, LTJ has been around for quite awhile but they can still play and have a great time. The entire show was great from start to finish. It was nice too because LTJ played some alternate versions of some of their songs which shows they can still catch you by surprise. If you missed this show, you missed one of their best performances in Pittsburgh and their first time ever at Stage AE.
Don’t forget to check out Less Than Jake’s new Album “See the Light” that just came out on 11/12/13!