Ska shows are a rare beast these days in our modern world. Even though I listen to ska regularly still and go to plenty of shows, long gone are the days of VFW Halls filled with kids decked out in chain wallets and checkerboard accessories, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish completely sold out the Electric Factory, one of Philadelphia’s larger venues.
My girlfriend and I got to the Electric Factory a bit late and met up with some of my friends, but sadly missing one of my old favorites Authority Zero (who I honestly have not seen in about a good decade). I was able to catch their last few songs which included Sirens and Rattlin Bog, although Passage In Time was always my jam.
It felt wrong to me that Less Than Jake was playing before Reel Big Fish, but as a die hard LTJ fan, I am definitely a bit (ok incredibly biased). I’m one of those weird ones who not only love all the old albums I grew up with, but also like their newer stuff as well (…minus their brief flirtation with pop music on that abomination In With The Out Crowd). Sure, maybe not as much as Pezcore but Greetings and Salutations is pretty damn solid.
In true Less Than Jake style, the band took the stage to a recording pretty much poking fun of themselves and the audience, and broke into “Look What Happened”, with confetti falling. The place was packed with people skanking, shouting along, and a sizable circle pit throughout the set, where they played stuff off of most of their rather large discography. I was actually shocked by the amount of younger kids there, because I didn’t know people under 21 listened to ska anymore (and it warms my heart that they do). The band took some time with their usual banter, had a couple come up on stage and propose, and even had a young kid from the audience come up on stage with them for a bit. They’ve always been one of the most consistent live bands I’ve seen, and Saturday’s show was no exception.
Setlist (From what I remember, probably not complete or in order)
Look What Happened
Nervous In The Alley
The Ghost Of Me And You
Automatic/We’re All Dudes
All My Friends Are Metalheads
Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts
Sobriety Is A Serious Business And Business Isn’t So Good
How’s My Driving Doug Hastings
Pac Man Cereal (Multiple times through out the night)
Plastic Cup Politics
History Of A Boring Town
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never been much of a fan of Reel Big Fish. Sure, I’ve seen them a bunch over the years but while they were one of the bands that got people into ska, that was Less Than Jake and Mighty Mighty Bosstones for me, so I always found their recorded work a bit poppy for my liking. I wasn’t going to stay around to see them originally, but plans changed… and with that being said, they are always a fun time to see live, and I’m actually glad I did.
They of course played through all the hits, throwing in plenty of their covers as well. Definitely a solid time, I might actually check out their recorded stuff… just 20 years later.
I Want Your GIrlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too
Everyone Else Is An Asshole
All I Want Is More
Your Guts, I Hate Em
She’s Famous Now
Skank For Christmas
Thank You For Not Moshing / Garden Grove (Sublime)
I Know You Too Well To Like You Anymore
She Has A Girlfriend Now
Where Have You Been
S.R (The Many Versions Of)
Beer / Self Esteem (Offspring)
Take On Me (Aha Cover)