Better Than: Waking up fresh on a Friday morning.
By the time the curtains parted for Less Than Jake, unleashing their trombone-pumping, wise-cracking, antics, the crowd was two bands deep into party mode. They were primed and ready for these Florida-bred veterans, who can conduct a boozed up crowd of twenty-somethings better than most anyone. Less Than Jake front man Chris DeMakes was very appreciative of the Lauderdale crowd, whose participation was full-throttle, despite it being a weeknight. He offered this encouragement to follow through:
"If you've got school or work tomorrow, fuck it. Fuck it! Get wasted. I'll call in for you."
Today, there are likely some folks who are glad they skipped class or work, and some who are sitting in classrooms or cubicles hungover, glad none-the-less that they partied with the Pez Kings. Celebrating their seventeenth appearance at "Chilli Pepper Revolution," as bassist Roger Manganelli called it, the pop-punk-ska legends played a mix of older and newer tunes, interspersed with their trademark stage banter, which was as sharp and ruthless as ever.
"Can I get the house lights please?" DeMakes requested at one point during the set. He proceeded to direct the crowd's attention to a man standing towards the front-center of the second tier of the venue. "That guy is not a pussy! Look at that fucking mustache!" It was an epic mustache. And the man played along, twisting its tips proudly.
The improvised theatrics also included a giant man with a "sweater" of body hair bench pressing a smaller "Justin Bieber" body type, a rather nervous-looking young man being roped into a dance contest. "I have a feeling that fourteen years of pent up anger and frustration are about to be unleashed," said DeMakes. And, a wedding proposal. She said "yes," and DeMakes added, "someone is getting laid tonight!"
Bookending the young-as-ever elders were L.A. based rocksteady outfit the Aggrolites on the front end, and Sublime tribute Badfish closing the night. The former impressed by staying true to rocksteady reggae form throughout their set, and offering the music in a fresh and authentic way. And Badfish, doing what it does very well, carried the party on into the night. Ensuring, as best they could, that the crowd put DeMakes' encouragement into practice.
Random Detail: According to DeMakes, Less Than Jake has actually been playing in the venue now known as Revolution Live since it was a strip club back in the '70s.
Another Great Line from DeMakes: "If you know the words to this song, help us out. If you don't, just stick your B.O. armpit in the air, and blow at us."
By the Way: DeMakes announced that he will be appearing on "Wheel of fucking Fortune" on May 6, "which is a Tuesday" (it's a Monday).