REWIND! Less Than Jake – Riot Fest 2010

[REWIND! is a weekly feature where Hugh Voltage and Ray De Ation dig through the archives of previous concert coverage. The original words and photos are published as is… with modern commentary about what they think now.]


Ray: Love-Love-Loved this show. At this point, it had been so long since I’ve heard anything about Less Than Jake. Then, after hearing we had LTJ on the Riot Fest lineup playing the entire Losing Streak album, I knew it was going to be one of those sets that I had been looking forward to for a while. That album was the anthem of my freshman year in HS, when things were easy and all we did was skate and experiment with Mad Dog 20/20. Hearing it played live, brought me back to that time where Ska brass wasn’t so annoying and played out. A time when SkaPunk was still good and not “hot topic”. The dudes on stage did not sell out over the past 15 years, didn’t turn into political activists or mainstream assholes, but still were the lively PBR drinking florida nuts that I knew them to be from my youth. Johnny Quest did not sell out.

Hugh: You know what? Ray pretty much summed it up. I have nothing more than what he said to add.

Original review follows: Less Than Jake – Riot Fest 2010
Less Than Jake is a band that needs no introduction. Even if you’re not familiar with their sing along classic album Losing Streak that served as an anthem for teens in the late 90s, you’ve definitely heard their hit single “The Science of Selling Yourself Short.” If change is inevitable, no one mentioned it to Chris, Roger, Vinnie, Buddy, and JR because not much has changed since the first time I saw them the better part of a decade ago – and that’s not a bad thing.

When they took the stage as Riot Fest, they announced they would be playing “Losing Streak” in its entirety. The crowd (which numbered in the thousands) responded with a deafening roar of approval. Describing the Less Than Jake performance as a non-stop frenzy would be like describing beer as delicious–it just doesn’t quite capture the magnitude of the emotion. Racing – gracefully – through the whole of “Losing Streak,” along with “The Science of Selling Yourself Short” and the best recreation of the Animaniacs theme ever, the boys in Less Than Jake were bound and fucking determined to cram as much skankable music into their short, extended set as possible. (They were the only non-closing band to get longer than 30 minutes, but even the hour they had shouldn’t have ended.) They didn’t disappoint.

Any show that gets thirty year old die hard fans horizontal within five notes (not songs, notes) is a show that you’ll be reliving for a lifetime. Sure, the guys have put on a little bit of weight, but so have we. Close your eyes and get transported back to the adolescence you thought you wanted to forget; just make sure to watch out for flying elbows and skanks because Less Than Jake still instills the same craziness in people whenever they play.

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