Rock City, Nottingham


2015 has welcomed a string of essential comebacks for genre defining bands, but the rediscoveries of old favourites turns its attention to Yellowcard and Less Than Jake’s emphatic co-headline tour, which fortunately happens to stop at Nottingham’s beloved Rock City. Following endless years of success, both bands will be desperate to prove that the flames behind their lengthy stints in music are still burning strong.

Opening affairs is French outfit, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! who have earned themselves a reputation as one of those “marmite” bands through their eccentric fusion of brutish metalcore and happy-go-lucky pop punk hooks. Although I’m only able to catch their final two songs, the emphatic “Restart” and “In Friends We Trust” showcase their exquisite fusion of crushing riffs, brutish screams and buoyant, infectious choruses in a forceful manner. Although they’re unlikely to be everyone’s cup of tea, their refreshing desire to create a sound which defies the expected formulaic nature of both twists to their genre is highly commendable, as the band deliver their set with such tenacity that you can feel the floor shake as each sub drop coincides with their monumental breakdowns. Love them or hate them, it’s clear why this band are making a name for themselves. Let’s hope that they return on their own headline run sooner rather than later.

In a career spanning over 22 years, you wouldn’t blame Less Than Jake for starting to run out of steam…but remember, this isn’t any band we’re talking about, this is a pioneering outfit who have built an exponential cult following since they were founded all those years ago. Immediately, the band strolls out to deliver an extremely confident rendition of the classic “Look What Happened” to place their loyal audience into the palm of their hands once again. Their eccentric and honest humour underpins their endlessly entertaining live show, but the way they deliver every song with the same passion and conviction shows that after all this time, they still love this band just as much as their fans. In a display which boasts toilet roll cannons, confetti, smoke machines and pacman dancers, you can hardly doubt that the efforts to create an extremely enjoyable live show aren’t likely to stop anytime soon.

The impeccable vocals of Roger and Chris continue to raise the hairs on the back of my neck, as they haven’t just maintained their energy over the years; they’ve maintained the finesse and precision in their performance. As they deliver classic after classic, the band cease to provide any sort of filler material; but how is that possible when you have such an extensive back catalogue to choose from? Ultimately, this is a band whose unique quality and endlessly exciting energy will continue to stay alive right until the day where the band members are physically unable to continue. However, I imagine they’ll find some way to keep their flame alive, as it’s almost impossible to imagine them stopping what they’re doing. Less Than Jake are a defining band and will undoubtedly remain a firm favourite for many years to come.

Yellowcard are faced with a fairly mountainous task, as its almost an impossible task to better a performance of such gargantous energy from their touring partners. However, this isn’t a band that are likely to let the pressure get to them, as the adoring response that greets their arrival onstage shows that regardless of what happens now, their army of supporters will be with them for the long haul. Admittedly, their decision to perform a set heavily comprising of new material doesn’t help to extinguish the expectations placed upon them, but the multitude of passionate sing-alongs throughout the night proves that this band mean a fair amount to a lot of people. Their performance is polished, atmospheric and virtually faultless, but it’s hard to get excited about their display when I can still hear every contagious chorus from Less Than Jake’s set skipping merrily inside my thoughts. Despite this, the emotional atmosphere surrounding the venue is compelling, as the band and fans are overjoyed to be reunited after a nine year absence since their last visit to Nottingham.

Their newer material may not suit the vibe for a Saturday night, but a purposeful rendition of ‘California’ sees Ryan Key playing alone with a piano suggest that the band have a desire to develop their sound, and it has yielded some rather powerful dimensions within their sound. Expectedly, they finish their performance with the classic ‘Ocean Avenue’ and send their audience into a fitting state of ecstasy. It may not have been an overly exciting display overall, but Yellowcard have proved tonight that their slick composure and accomplished quality in their live performances has remained intact.

Set List
Transmission Home
Crash the Gates
Lights and Sounds
Only One
Make Me So
Lift a Sail
Light Up the Sky
Rough Landing, Holly
Way Away
Ocean Avenue

Less Than Jake
Look What Happened
Nervous in the Alley
The Ghosts of Me and You
Good Enough
How’s My Driving, Doug Hastings?
Sugar in Your Gas Tank
Harvey Wallbanger
Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts
The Science of Selling Yourself Short
Sobriety Is a Serious Business and Business Isn’t So Good
Pac Man Cereal
Pac Man Cereal
Give Me Something to Believe In
Never Going Back to New Jersey
Plastic Cup Politics
History of a Boring Town
All My Best Friends Are Metalheads
Pac Man Cereal


Words by George Fullerton.

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