Gig Review by Pete Williams with Photography by Helen Williams

Yellowcard

Since their beginnings in 1997, Yellowcard have considered Less Than Jake to be one of their main inspirations. The two bands were formed within 100 miles of each other and regularly toured the same venues while climbing from nobodies to the stars they are today.

Yellowcard

In 2002 Yellowcard got the break they needed when Less Than Jake asked them to be their support on tour. Their close relationship since meant that a joint tour was bound to be on the cards at some point, and finally this year it became a reality.

Their nine date tour sees them visit all corners of the UK, and with both bands having a strong following in this country, it was bound to be a gig worth seeing.

Less Than Jake
Less Than JakeLess Than Jake

First to the stage were Less Than Jake. The ska punk five piece have been touring for over 20 years and spend much of their time on the road these days, so they’re seasoned pros when it comes to putting on a good show.

Less Than JakeLess Than Jake
Less Than JakeLess Than Jake

The set list was a good mix of tracks, with an emphasis on the older songs that the band know go down well with their fans. Highlights included Look What Happened, Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts, Five State Drive and, of course, the ever-popular All My Best Friends Are Metalheads.

Less Than Jake

Towards the end of the set they took a minute to play one of their novelty tracks, the theme tune to the Pac-Man breakfast cereal. The cover featured on their 2010 EP TV/EP, and apparently they’ve been asked to record a new version as the cereal is due to be re-released. It was hard to tell whether they were joking but keep your eyes peeled just in case!

Less Than JakeLess Than Jake

As always, lead singer Chris provided plenty of interaction with the crowd between songs, including getting people on stage to embarrass themselves. It was all lighthearted though and seemed to go down well with the crowd.

Less Than Jake
Less Than Jake

Audience reception was unusually muted for a band who normally have the crowd going wild within minutes. This was probably because it was a joint headline gig and a lot of people perhaps weren’t die-hard Less Than Jake fans. That said, it was a hugely enjoyable set, showing once again that this a band that never fails to entertain.

YellowcardYellowcard

Next on were Yellowcard. With a much more pop-orientated sound it was a change of pace from Less Than Jake’s frantic songs, but just as great to watch.

The California-based fivesome played a much more recent set, with many of the night’s tracks coming from their latest album, 2014’s Lift a Sail. Although this meant that not everybody knew the words, lead singer Ryan Key was constantly encouraging people to sing until they lost their voices anyway, and the crowd certainly did.

YellowcardYellowcard

After a raucous start to their set, including Transmission Home, Crash the Gates and Lights and Sounds, they turned down the lights and slowed the pace while Ryan played a couple of ballads. The audience seemed to enjoy the change, many even waving their lighters around to match the emotion.

Yellowcard

Yellowcard are obviously hugely grateful to their fans, and several times through the evening they took time out to thank everyone for their ongoing support. Touches like this show why they have such a loyal following.

YellowcardYellowcard

It was a hugely varied set, and one that everyone seemed to really get into. The band rounded off the night with two of their classics, Way Away and Ocean Avenue, giving the crowd one last chance to go crazy.

Yellowcard

Overall it was an excellent gig, and an opportunity to see two fantastic bands together. Both have busy tour schedules over the summer, so who knows when they’ll be returning to these shores, but hopefully it won’t be too long.

Yellowcard

2 Responses to “Yellowcard + Less Than Jake at the O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 5th March 2015”

  1. Show Review: Yellowcard at the O2 Academy, Birmingham Says:

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  2. Gallery Update: New Photos from Birmingham Academy! Says:

    […] more photos of Yellowcard performing at Birmingham Academy a couple weeks ago, credit going to Helen Williams, you can check them all out right down below under the previews, […]

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