LessThanJake@Newcastle O2 Academy, March 6 2015

After kicking off their co-headline tour in Glasgow earlier in the week, both acts appeared to have their errors ironed out as the took to the stage in Newcastle’s Academy to give a nostalgic performance. 

With both bands experiencing their peak years between 1998 and 2006, it was no surprise to see a crowd full of enthusiastic mid 20-year-olds singing the music of their teens. From the cheesy introductions to the audience participation, this was a night of fun – after all, Less Than Jake have never been known to take themselves too seriously.

As Yellowcard appeared on stage first, it was clear Ryan Key was in the mood to perform, showing off his vocal range and generally owning the stage. While Key’s presence and pitch was right on the money, his band mates give him the platform to kick on, as they knocked out tune after tune without the slightest hint of nerves.

Opening with Convocation, from 2014’s Lift A Sail, the Jacksonville four-piece could, perhaps, have chosen a rockier number to get the crowd going. With Lift A Sail being more pop than pop punk, it may not have been the ideal opening track, but the crowd didn’t mind as they were just happy to see their heroes back in Newcastle. While the pop feel continued throughout the show, the boys still gave the fans what they wanted to hear as they pulled out fan favourites such as Only Me and Rough Landing, Holly, before finishing up with the fantastic Ocean Avenue.

Following a swift change around, and a slightly more inebriated crowd, Less Than Jake came on stage to one of the cheesiest introductions Newcastle will ever see – launching straight into Look What Happened. While Yellowcard’s set had gone down a treat, it was clear from the instant reaction, the people had really come to see their fellow Floridians.

With the audience singing and dancing, it didn’t take long before Chris DeMakes invited an enthusiastic young lad on stage to dance with the band. With the lad taking full advantage of his moment in the lime light, DeMakes started bringing up a line of ladies to dance with him onstage, before one disrespectful audience member ruined it for everyone, grabbing the mic and shouting “Jezza, Jezza, Jezza…” which was met with a strong echo of boos from a disapproving crowd.

As the show rolled on the crowd were greeted with one of the most feelgood, energetic performances they will see this year, as they enjoyed hits such as All My Best Friends Are Metalheads and History Of A Boring Town.

With both acts producing exciting, professional sets, the entire crowd left satisfied that they had spent their time and money wisely.

Adam Keys