Gig Review

The Road To Warped Tour
Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Man Overboard
Cardiff, Great Hall 2

9th November 2012

Less Than Jake          New Found Glory               Man Overboard

Photo Of Man Overboard © Copyright Kirsty RichTonight was the last gig on the road to Warped. Leading up to the legendary tour's historic first venture across the pond. This gig took place in Cardiff universities Great Hall 2 and was set to be a flurry of upbeat Pop-Punk and Ska.

The New Jersey Pop-Punk quintet Man Overboard were the second band of the night, although due to the early start they were the opening act for most people. They opened up in their poppy bouncy style and a few people soon joined in with the dancing. With vocalists Zac Eisenstein and Nik Bruzzese throwing in some great harmonies. Nik played some enjoyable bass riffs throughout the set mixing songs from "Real Talk" and "Man Overboard", however the bass wasn't completely smooth but slightly twangy and sharp. There was some good energy on stage and from the off and the show reminded me of "Set Your Goals". "Montrose" was a particular highlight with its great bridge. "Rare", "World Favourite", "Atlas" and "Love Your Friends, Die Laughing" also went down well with a few people crowd surfing. They set the show up well for the co-headliners.

Photo Of New Found Glory © Copyright Kirsty RichNew Found Glory ran onto the stage playing "Understatement" and immediately the entire room started singing along with their hands in the air. New found Glory played though "Sticks & Stones" released 10 years prior from start to finish. The sound was great, slightly heavier than usual and the set was full of energy on and off the stage, with crowd surfers from the second song till they left the stage. I caught New Found Glory on the Relentless tour earlier in the year, and the sound was great, but It felt almost like a group who'd past it trying to show off to a younger crowd. However tonight wasn't anything like that, it could be the older crowd, or the tracks they were playing but it felt like seeing them back when I fell in love with them. The nostalgia seemed to flood the room, just as much as the urge to jump, sing and put your hands in the air. Ian Grushka was on top form putting on a faultless performance. After Sticks & Stones they finished off the set with four of their biggest tracks "All Downhill From Here", "Dress To Kill", "Kiss Me" and "Hit Or Miss", in an explosion of energy. I think most people could have left then happy. It was the best I've seen them, the sound was flawless and the only way to describe how into it the crowd were is with the sad fact someone collapsed from exhaustion. They were great.

Photo Of Less Than Jake © Copyright Kirsty RichThe legendary Ska giants Less Than Jake where the last band of the night and one of the best live bands around. No matter how many times you see them you always walk away covered in sweat and grinning like a chasseur cat because the sounds great and they're just fun. The crowd exploded as they took the stage with the opening riff of "Gainesville Rock City" with the crowd singing along to Chris Demakes guitar. "Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts" followed and with the fast pasted ska everyone was finding it hard to stay still. It wasn't long before their childish humour engulfed the room with Roger Manganelli turned to Chris between songs and said "are you just happy to be here tonight Chris or is that a banana in your pocket?". "Look What Happened" followed before the "The New Auld Lang Syne" off of their new album "Greetings And Salutations From Less Than Jake". The mix match of songs from every album continued with "Automatic", "The Science Of Selling Yourself Short", "Al's War" for which trombone player Buddy Schaub just danced around the stage as he wasn't needed, and "Motown Never Sounded So Good". Less Than Jake took their antics to the next level when they got three "Fat Smelly Guys" from the crowd to come onto the stage as well as one girl who was blindfolded. After sniffing the armpits of all three guys she had to pick the one which smelled the worst and he won Photo Of Less Than Jake © Copyright Kirsty Richa bottle of Whisky. A somewhat unusual sight at a gig for most bands, but LTJ have got a history of dragging fans on stage for some reason or another. The explosive "Hows My Driving Dough Hastings" set the show back on track before the bass heavy "Shindo". Chris and Rodger were on top form with their alternating roles as vocalist, and In spite of staying out of the way slightly in order to scribble down the occasional note It was impossible to completely avoid the rain of beer as most of the room was bounding around, crowd surfing or throwing their beer in the air indulging the euphoria any way they can think of. After a few more songs LTJ left the stage before Rodger returned to play a few notes before his "bass solo" was interrupted by the return of the rest of the group to play "Nervous In The Ally" and "History Of A Boring Town". As it sadly came time for the last song, LTJ flexed their control over the crowd getting them to perform a circle pit around the sound desk, while those two tired to get involved skanked and sung along to the ever popular "Plastic Cup Politics". Anyone who's seen them before will know how good they are live time after time, they've never grown up and nor should they. I think there were some lights, but to be honest it's hard to focus when you're compelled to sing along and bounce around with the bass riffs. The sounds great, the songs are impossible to stay still from and above all else their just fun, immature, hyperactive, drunk fun from one of the least professional bands. It's more like a party with your mates than a gig. There one of the best live bands of all time.

Man Overboard 3/5
New Found Glory 4/5
Less than Jake 5/5

Review By Marc Rich
Photos By Kirsty Rich

 Less Than Jake

Chris Demakes
Roger Manganelli
Vinnie Fiorello
Buddy Schaub
Peter "JR" Wasilewski

 New Found Glory

Chad Gilbert
Jordan Pundik
Cyrus Bolooki
Ian Grushka
Steve Klein

 Man Overboard


 Band Related Links
Less Than Jake Facebook
New Found Glory Facebook
Man Overboard Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?