Less Than Jake 2/16 Brooklyn Bowl Review

By Michel Dussack

It seems that every band this year has been celebrating anniversaries, though one band’s anniversary that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked is Less Than Jake’s. The year 2012 marks Less Than Jake’s 20th anniversary though, in quite a testament to the band and their steadfastness, it certainly doesn’t seem this long. On February 16th, the band played a high energy set at Brooklyn Bowl, and it was pretty hard to believe that they’ve been doing this for so long. Indeed, they had the energy of a much younger band, but the confidence of a band that’s been around for a while.

To put in perspective just how much material these guys have, and just how many hits they’ve put out, they were confident enough to play the megahit “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads” second, and it set the bar high for a night filled with great ska and punk music from one of the bands that defined exactly what ska should be. On the same day as the show, the band also released a surprise EP “Seasons Greetings from Less Than Jake”, and they also played one of the songs “The New Auld Lang Syne” for the first time at the show.

The band sounds as tight as they ever have, due to the fact that the core group of the band has remained mostly intact since the group’s formation. For every good thing that could be said about their albums, twice as many things can be said about their insanely fun live shows, and being able to see them in such a small venue was truly a treat for their fans. In fact, fans took the opportunity to hop on stage with the band and dive back off, or sometimes stay on stage to sing for a bit and then fall back into a sea of outstretched arms.

Most remarkable of all is that the band was somehow able to touch upon nearly all aspects of their lengthy career, from their debut to their newest EP and kept everyone in attendance happy. Someone of the highlights personally, were a raucous cover of the theme song from SpongeBob Squarepants, a cover of “I Think I Love You”, originally by The Partridge Family, and the show closer, “Portrait of a Cigarette Smoker At 19”. It’s easy to see how Less Than Jake have stuck around for all this time, given their massive catalogue of quality music as well as their dedication and love for their fans. Their 20th anniversary tour is one not to be missed, especially given the intimacy of the venues they’re playing. Just be prepared to get sweaty.

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