Less Than Jake Bring Their Sun Streaked Sound To New York

Less Than Jake
June 22, 2015
The Best Buy Theatre-New York, NY

       A blast from the past for sure, Less Than Jake played a second show in NYC this week at The Best Buy Theatre. When Less Than Jake comes to mind, Plastic Cup Politics plays and visions of Warped Tour circa 2001 come and go. A first Warped Tour for this concertgoer, 2001’s lineup surrounded LTJ with the likes of a few greats. The bill included Rancid, A.F.I., The Bouncing Souls and Pennywise. Less Than Jake included, good company was all around. While that was some time ago, LTJ made an appearance at last year’s Warped Tour, which had to be nostalgic for many. That is if anyone who was a fan during the band’s heyday still goes to Warped Tour.

Always a party, the sun streaked sound and fun atmosphere of their shows draws fans in and keeps them coming back for more. A few fans channeled their inner LTJ and wore checkered suspenders or funky Hawaiian shirts like the members of the band can be seen in. The room in the Best Buy Theatre smelled of smoke, though not from cigarettes, and concertgoers filled into the venue just as LTJ’s sound check ended. As their first notes were played, colorful steam shot up from each side of the stage and band members were in motion. Less Than Jake features Chris DeMakes on guitar and vocals, Vinnie Fiorello on drums and vocals, Buddy Schaub on trombone, Roger Lima on vocals and bass and Peter “JR” Wasilewski on saxophone.

DSC_2781The band’s typical stage persona was there, though not as pronounced as it used to be. Wearing bizarre costumes and hackling each other on stage is a part of their performance, along with the occasional wrestling. No one tackled anyone else for the most part, but band members were dancing and hopping around the stage, getting the crowd involved. DeMakes stopped between almost every song to talk to fans and call many of them out for having their arms crossed. It was all in playful fun, and the band made everyone welcome.

The opening song was Look What Happened followed directly by Nervous in the Alley. We’re All Dudes got a great applause and a sing along from the audience. Johhny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts off their first full-length album Pezcore was a perfect throwback for long time fans. LTJ’s ska-punk sound is a very particular sound that isn’t for everyone. Whatever anyone’s opinion of the genre is, no one can deny that it evokes feelings of easiness, and the sense of relaxing at a beach party. It’s good old-fashioned, simple fun. The Science of Selling Yourself Short was also played. It was the second single off Anthem, the band’s fifth album. Though it was off a fifth album, it still felt like a throwback for a band that has been around the block a few times.

LTJ’s most recent album, See the Light, got some play as well. Released in 2013, Good Enough was played. After leaving the stage, the band came back for an encore to perform The Rest of My Life, History of a Boring Town, and All My Best friends Are Metalheads. LTJ has a couple more dates in the U.S. and then is off to Europe until returning to San Bernardino, CA for It’s Not Dead Fest.

Review by: Ashley Rodriguez