It may be the 6th November but the fireworks continue to fly after Guy Fawkes Night as Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish roll into Tyneside on their co-headline tour.

It’s been four years since the two bands have come together for a headline tour. Each group are notorious for their powerful and energetic live shows, but most of all the ability to create somewhat of an epic party and this show is no exception to that rule.

However, tonight’s line-up does not stop there. Opening the show is Californian ska-punk outfit Suburban Legends, who take to the stage as the crowd files into the room at approximately 7 pm. The six-piece delivers an eclectic set that includes their own unique take on both the themes to “Duck Tales” and The Golden Girls “Thank You For Being a Friend” amongst a mix of their original material.

Suburban Legends close out their set with the incredibly catchy “Whoa” which immediately gets the party started. Frontman Vincent Walker declares this tour to be ‘the greatest package tour on earth’ and on the strength of tonight’s festivities, the Geordie crowd would largely agree.

After a quick turnaround, Zebrahead hits the stage and deliver a high octane, interactive and thoroughly entertaining set. With a bar set up in the corner of the stage, with patrons dressed as cans of beer, there is no doubt the Orange County-based outfit is here to have a good time tonight.

Highlights from the set include crowd pleaser “Who Brings A Knife To A Gunfight” along with old favourite and set closer “Falling Apart”. Zebrahead has the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands throughout. The band’s fans obey every command whether that be to sit on the ground, jump up and down, chug a beer or open up a huge circle pit – the group orchestrates the madness from the stage all night long.

Southern California’s Reel Big Fish is the first headliner to take the stage this evening as they open with their ska-tinged cover of Aha’s “Take On Me”. The group delivers a high energy set that doesn’t subside at any point. The whole room enthusiastically dancing and singing along as the band delivers a career spanning hour-long show that covers all of the bases.

Reel Big Fish comes together seamlessly on stage like a huge wall of sound. They make every moment count as they belt through the likes of “Everyone Else Is An Asshole”, their unique version of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”, new single “You Can’t Have All of Me” and Toot’s and the Maytal’s “Monkey Man”. The latter of which has the whole room skanking to the beat. Reel Big Fish bring their high octane set to a fitting close with a blistering encore of “Beer”.

The atmosphere is at fever pitch by the time Florida’s finest Less The Jake make their entrance onto the O2 Academy Newcastle stage. The US-based ska-punk outfit does not take their foot off the pedal for one second as they open with a triple whammy of “Suburban Myth”, “Short Fuse Burning” and “Gainsville Rock City”.

Less Than Jake switch up their show every night, which is certainly refreshing in this day and age. Despite this, tonight’s 16 song setlist includes everything which the Less Than Jake fans would want and expect from their show including fan favourites “The Science of Selling Yourself Short”, “History Of A Boring Town”, and “Look What Happened”.

Less Than Jake have been touring in Europe since 1999. Frontman Chris DeMakes declares that the UK fans go crazier than anywhere else, which certainly wins over and further encourages the Newcastle audience to participate wholeheartedly.

Less Than Jake bring their set and the evening to an explosive conclusion with “Last One Out Of Liberty City” which is executed at breakneck speed along with the anthemic “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads”. It goes without saying that crowd surfing ensues.

It’s fair to say that on the strength of tonight’s career-spanning show that after 25 years, Less Than Jake are still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down.

Less Than Jake
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Reel Big Fish
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Event Date: 06-Nov-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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