Less Than Jake along with Four Year Strong stopped by the Starland Ballroom on their co-headlining tour with Direct Hit and Bearings as support.
Oddly enough, this is actually my first time at Starland Ballroom (yeah, I know… crazy, right?) Anyway, a quick hour and a half jaunt from Allentown, PA I arrived in Sayreville, NJ. Everyone told me to park across the street at the VFW and to look for the tank. Surely enough, there was a tank sitting in front of the place (no picture, unfortunately, it was pretty dark by then) so I paid the attendant my $7 to park which is a bargain compared to the usual $35 Live Nation fee. A quick run across the street and here I am at the famous Starland!
The first band up was Bearings. These Canadian pop-punks were signed to Pure Noise Records Records last year and just put out their new EP Nothing Here is Permanent. To be completely honest, I wasn’t a big fan. I felt that sonically, they were too shoegazy for this line-up. Photographing them weren’t easy either especially when the frontman kept covering his face with the mic. The lights didn’t help either since it was primarily washes of red and blue with the off chance of the front lights being used momentarily.
Milwaukee-based band Direct Hit brought much more energy to the stage. Their aggro pop-punk sound definitely woke everyone to their feet. It’s no surprise that their last record Wasted Mind was put out by Fat Wreck Chords as they fit perfectly with the label’s lineup. Shooting-wise, it was the same as with Bearings where the lighting was predominantly red and blue but with more of the occasional front lights here and there.
Four Year Strong
Four Year Strong has been one of those bands that always puts on a great show. Be it their own headlining tour or in a festival environment, they know how to command a crowd. They just released Some of You Will Like This, Some of You Won’t (Pure Noise Records) which was a collection of reworkings of their fan-favorites and unreleased material acoustically. A huge change for a band mostly known for the heavier side of the pop-punk spectrum. Tonight was straight up aggressive with nonstop crowd surfers and massive sing-alongs.
Less Than Jake
Once Less Than Jake came onto the stage, it felt like every photographer in the tri-state area showed up. The photo pit was so crowded, no one was moving once they got in position. The group tore through fan favorites like “The Ghost of Me and You”, “Never Going Back to New Jersey”, and encore closer “All of My Best Friends Are Metalheads.”
There are only a few more days left of the tour so if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, I’d suggest you get there here. Check out the dates below.
02/09 – Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall*
02/10 – Sarasota, FL @ Sarasota Fair Grounds #
02/12 – Jacksonville, FL @ Mavericks
02/13 – Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
02/15 – Richmond, VA @ The Canal Club
02/16 – Wilmington, DE @ The Queen
02/17 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music hall
02/18 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
02/20 – Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe
02/21 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theathre
02/22 – Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
02/23 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
02/24 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s
02/25 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
* No Four Year Strong
# Less Than Jake only