Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
Last night (8/15) Lincoln was party central as Ska legends Less Than Jake brought their 25 Years of Hello Rockview tour to the Bourbon Theater. Playing to a solid crowd of longtime fans you would've thought it was a Friday night with how much energy was in the building.
After seeing Less Than Jake celebrate 30 years as a band at the Slowdown last year I knew I had to catch them again when they played Lincoln. My brothers and I discovered Less Than Jake during the Hello Rockview years and went on to see them what felt like every summer at Warped Tour. I'm not certain, but I think Less Than Jake holds the record for most Warped Tours played.
For this leg of the tour Less Than Jake brought along Ska newcomers Devon Kay and the Solutions along with the legendary Toasters. I was really stoked for this show because I got to bring my friend Chris from my "real job". I joined a new team a few months back and Chris helped train me. It was an easy transition because I knew Chris was one of the few people in our company that appreciates Ska music.
Devon Kay and his band started the night with blistering tunes that had the place jumping. They played a shorter set around 25 minutes but they didn't stop for one second. They had the pedal to the floor the whole time and it was awesome!
Up next were The Toasters. They had a funky, soulful Ska sound that was almost a bit more old school or traditional. I noticed a shirt at the merch booth that said "Celebrating 40 years". If that's the case they would definitely fall into the second wave of ska. By now the crowd was really starting to fill in and the two steppers came out in droves. The Toasters had them moving! It was a fun set and they were happy for all the support.
Finally, we stepped into the time machine back to 1998. I have to give a shout out to the set designers because the stage was super cool. On the right was the suburban mom and on the left was the dad in a suit flying off the roof, just like the cover of Hello Rockview. The band blasted through the first track "Last One Out Of Liberty City" and the crowd went wild. Instantly the room got loud from all the singalongs. I looked behind me to see everyone on their feet jumping in celebration.
After a few songs Chris and Roger addressed the crowd and had a ton of playful banter. At one point they asked if anyone had a birthday and this dude got to come up and have a beer on stage. What a great birthday surprise!
I was really impressed with Chris's knowledge of Omaha and Lincoln. He asked the crowd if anyone remembered Knickerbockers (R.I.P), but he told about the sale of the building and how it's a hotel now etc., he really did his research.
Later on Chris and Roger called out someone in the crowd saying "Derek from Sum 41 is here!" I can only guess they meant Collin from Cutthroat Kids with his spiky blonde hair.
Less Than Jake tore through the Hello Rockview album and then took a quick break. They came back for a six song encore hitting some fan favorites like "Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts", "Automatic", and "Gainesville Rock City". The band closed with the singalong anthem "Look What Happened" as the crowd batted around giant Less Than Jake balloons. It was so much fun. If you've never seen a Less Than Jake show, you're missing out! I'm sure with the solid showing from the Lincoln crowd they'll come back to Nebraska again soon.
Shoutout to 104.1 The Blaze for always bringing killer shows to Lincoln. Special thanks to Less Than Jake and The Bourbon Theater for photo access. Lastly, shout out to my buddy Chris for driving and the fun memory!
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