Less Than Jake and Yellowcard plus Chunk! No, Captain Chunk
Venue: KOKO, London
Date: 9th & 10th March 2015
KOKO London had the delight of hosting two nights in a row of the Yellowcard and Less Than Jake co-headline tour with Chunk! No, Captain Chunk as support. Being the second of the two nights, each wants to one-up the previous night.
To open the evening, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! launched into their set with ‘Haters Gonna Hate’. Crushing breakdowns accompanied with catchy pop punk melodies, you can’t help compare them to the likes of A Day To Remember. Performing mostly songs from their 2013 album Pardon My French, aptly named being French themselves, the 5 piece try to awaken a fairly lifeless crowd with more catchy hooks though attempts seem mostly futile until C!NCC! unleash a cover of ‘All Star’ by Smash Mouth. Fantastic set from the Frenchmen, lots of energy and excitement in their performance, the effort from the band was outstanding but the atmosphere in the room was dead for the majority of their set. 6/10
Ska Punk veterans Less Than Jake on the other hand followed this by showing everyone in the room how to entertain a crowd. Starting their set with ‘Look What Happened’, Chris DeMakes only had to sing a few opening words and the rest of the crowd were singing with him, from that moment on the energy was electric throughout the set. Having always been a band to enjoy having a laugh on stage, there was plenty of banter, jokes, and beach balls bouncing around the crowd and at one point a fairly older gentleman was invited to dance on the stage with a much younger lady.
Even though they weren’t headlining on the night, Less Than Jake still had an encore. A quick break for the gentlemen not far off being 40, in fact it was Chris DeMakes 38th birthday, what a way to celebrate than performing in front of a thousand or so fans. The band kicks off again with ‘History Of A Boring Town’ and there wasn’t a single person stood still as the entire floor jumped to the chorus and lost their voices. Last but not least the ska punk anthem ‘All My Best Friends Are Metalheads’ caused chaos as more people rush forward to skank in what little room there was. Amazing scenes as you see so many happy faces at the end of the set. 10/10
As always Less Than Jake were thoroughly entertaining and left Yellowcard with a huge job in following that set. Yellowcard seemed up to the task though. A rather epic start as they come on to the opening track to the latest album Lift A Sail, which was heavily plugged by the band as they asked the fans to embrace the new. Yellowcard have stepped away from their pop-punk theme from twelve years ago and have become a slightly catchier rock band, not without giving their older fans some early classics like ‘Believe’ and ‘Way Away’ to get a nostalgic over.
Having only been out for a few months, Lift A Sail does already seem to be a hit with fans as pretty much everyone knew the words to the new songs performed, and even if people didn’t then frontman Ryan Key wanted the audience to sing along with made up words. A set with mostly happy vibes and lots of enthusiasm, the band take a moment to slow things down with new song ‘California’ from the new album as Ryan Key was the only person left on stage to play keyboard and set the mellow mood as some fans swayed and others waited for something a little more upbeat. To my surprise ‘Breathing’ was cut from the set, but title track to their breakthrough album Ocean Avenue was a great way to end the night as you could hear the voices in the rafters. In all honesty everything from performance to crowd reaction, Less Than Jake stole the show but Yellowcard definitely gave them a run for their money. 8/10