Chris, Roger & Vinnie
Story and photos by Karen BondowskiAfter playing a sold out House of Blues show in Chicago the previous night, Less Than Jake took to the northwoods and parked their camper in The Rave parking lot before heading back to the sunny skies of Florida. With 14 years under their belts, they all share the same passion and dedication to their music and they are renown for giving every bit of it back to their fans. The name Less Than Jake came from a dog Vinnie had while growing up, apparently the dog was treated better than the rest of the family.
Opening with the bouyant and bouncy "Short Fuse Burning" LTJ let it be known this was a night where melody and hook would rule supreme. The boys all sporting calf-length shorts and loose fitting t-shirts and each with a distinct hair style, playfully bounced up and down on the stage like a bunch of school chums discovering their first jump on the neighbor's trampoline. They all roamed the stage with their feet on fire. When JR Wasilewski and Buddy Schaub aren't blowin' their horns, they go that extra mile and wildly weave in and out of the their fellow bandmates while riling up the crowd with their intense energy. When not singing, you can often catch Chris Demakes and Roger Mangenelli with their feet at the very edge of the stage trying to get as close as possible to their fans.
With JR's and Buddy's horns heatin' up - Roger took to the mic and let his star shine on "The Science of Selling Yourself Short." The chorus' happy beats bounced up and down overshadowing the song's sad lyrics. It didn't matter - the ska flavored classic had the Rave spinning. Other songs like "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads," "Al's War," "Scott Farcas Takes It On the Chin," "How's My Driving, Doug Hastings?," and "Jen Doesn't Like Me Anymore" found the merry fellows in fine musical form. Drummer Vinnie Fiorello's blasting beats laid the groundwork for the great live renditions.
Also a highlight of the night for true fans was a medley of all sorts of songs. Some of the songs performed in this five minute blitz were "Just Like Frank," "Nervous in the Alley," "Dopeman," "Richard Allen George...No, It's Just Cheez," "9th At Pine" and "Happyman." The first encore "Gainsville Rock City" had everyone jumping and moshing around with fervent energy.
Less Than Jake captivated the audience with their 75 minute party of original and tasty ska filled punk. Finishing off their set with "Look What Happened," they turned up the volume and sped up the tempo one beat faster. With songs as catchy as this - even co-vocalist Roger was still singing the chorus all the way into the dressing room. Funny thing is - you could also hear many fans doing the same thing on their way out the door.
Here's Your Chance to.... Respond!
Your feedback will be featured on
Rant or Rave within 24 hours.
Return to Reviews
Return to Menu