Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Concert Review: Less Than Jake

For the dozens of loyal followers of Stars and Slights it's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Less Than Jake. After all, they have been the featured artist in several song of the day posts.

So when I heard that they were coming to the Twin Cities I knew I had to capitalize on the opportunity (my first time seeing them live)!

Earlier this evening at the Station 4 nightclub in St. Paul I watched the ska/punk crazies from Gainseville, Fl promote their latest album, aptly entitled "GNV FLA." The Swellers and The Casualties opened for Less Than Jake and set the stage for a pretty memorable night.

I honestly knew little about both opening acts and didn't pay much attention to them while at the concert but what experienced was certainly worth mentioning here.

The Swellers reminded me of an early stage Blink 182 (think Dude Ranch) and The Casualties are in a league of their own.

In fact, The Casualties provided perhaps the most indelible moment of the evening when they attempted to organize both the largest circle pit Station 4 had ever seen and the often talked about but rarely well-executed 'wall of death.'

While giving the instructions for the 'wall of death' guitarist Jake said "get as far to the walls as possible and spread yourselves... like butt cheeks." Hilarious.

In terms of showmanship it was obvious that Less Than Jake was the most seasoned group out of all three bands. Their presence and crowd interactions were genuine and diversified. They even razzed their merchandise manager for forgetting to bring a stash of free swag for the concertgoers like myself (though the group members wound up throwing tons of free stuff into the crowd throughout the concert).

For a tour that is supposed to promote their new album the boys of LTJ managed to work in a solid mix of old and new stuff. They dipped back to Pezcore by playing "Liquor Store" and played several songs off of Losing Streak.

Hellow Rockview was another album whose songs were heavily featured tonight along with Anthem and, of course, GNV FLA.

With exception to "The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out" all of my favorite songs were performed. Their albums usually feature dual guitars to cover lead and rhythm but tonight only Chris Demakes played. Even without a rhythm guitar the songs still sounded very close to the studio recordings but with some added pizzaz.

Less Than Jake was absolutely worth the price of admission. I'll be seeing them again next time they come to the Twin Cities.

I'm providing a link rather than embedded video because that feature was removed at the request of the record label. Here's one of the songs performed tonight: "The Science of Selling Yourself Short."

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