CONCERT REVIEW : Less Than Jake – o2 Academy Glasgow 31st March 2022

Less Than Jake – o2 Academy Glasgow 31st March 2022

Glasgow all set to welcome Orlando ska punk heroes Less Than Jake celebrating their 30th anniversary tour, with a great supporting bill featuring Millie Manders and the Shut Up, The Toasters and Skinny Lister. Tonight, Glasgow was in for a treat, a great night of music is getting ready to explode onto the O2 Academy stage.

The lights dimmed and the Millie Manders and the Shut Up took up their places to set the tone for the evening’s music. Millie Manders highlighting Mental Health awareness throughout her set, performed a powerful set featuring songs Right to Life, Not ok and the excellent Your Story. A band  well deserving of having their own headline gig, great songs and passion on stage carries into the audience, they know how to make a great impression and they have left one in Glasgow tonight, as was evident on the bands faces as they left the stage,  they had enjoyed the set as much as the Glasgow crowd.

As the lights dimmed it was time for ska legends The Toasters to take to the stage. The band formed in 1981 and have an extensive catalogue of music, this was going to be an interesting set form the band. The atmosphere generating in the venue was powerful, the Toasters did not let this go unnoticed, playing songs from New York’s East side they had the crowd dancing from the off. Stand out songs from their short set was the excellent Dog Eat Dog, East Side Beat, Pirate Radio before the classic Weekend in LA. The Glasgow crowd lifted by the sound creating a brilliant atmosphere with the songs and passion for their music. If you get a chance to see The Toasters in a town near you, grab it while you can.

Next up is one of the UK’s most talked about bands Skinny Lister, from their explosive entrance they had the Glasgow crowd captured from the off. The 5-piece band had the stage on fire with their enthusiastic performance that was full of energy from the word go. They are one-party band that know how to get a party in full swing, encouraging the Glasgow crowd to get involved through singing along to the songs,  delighting the crowd with songs including Cathy, Rollin Over, Bold as Brass and the excellent Hamburg Drunk. The energy from the stage was electric, the band covering ever inch of the stage with their performance. This is a band that will be on the lips of everyone in the audience, the next time you see them perform in Glasgow,  it may well be in a bigger venue after tonight’s performance. The band closed their set with a bang, songs including What Can I Say, This Is War before the excellent Trouble on Oxford Street. The London band really knew how to deliver an amazing set on the opening night of the tour. As they left the stage you knew it was getting close to the headliners Less Than Jake.

The stage crew got to work resetting the stage, the Less Than Jake backdrop was revealed, it could now be seen in full as only partial was visible during the support, bright colours carrying the bands logo was received by a rousing applause from the waiting crowd.

The lights dimmed, the intro steadily rising, Less Than Jake Exploded on to the stage and the venue went wild for the Ska Punk legends. The noise level from the crowd amplified greeting the band onto the stage, opening their 30th Anniversary party with Short Fuse Burning had the crowd dancing from the first chord, the joy in the eyes of Chris DeMakes, you knew this was going to be a fun set. The opening set had the temperature rising in the venue with the dancing and singing along to the songs including the excellent National Anthem, The High Cost of Low Living before they had the Glasgow crowd in full voice with Magnetic North.

The band had continued banter with the crowd, while entertaining them to some of the finest ska punk with standout songs History of a Boring Town, Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts and the excellent Good Enough. The set, getting close to the end, as the big songs kept coming but it was that time for the place to reach full voice with fans favourites Gainesville Rock City before the amazing All My Best Friends are Metalheads before the band said their goodbyes to the O2 Academy audience. Less Than Jake put on a show filled with everything, they know how to take things to a different level and deliver an in your face ska punk show. If you like good music and a laugh, then pop along and catch Gainesville USA finest Less Than Jake at a venue close to you, you won’t be disappointed.

Review by Karen Edmond