Date: Friday, September 20th. 2013
Line Up: Less Than Jake, Completely Insane, The 86 List
Venue: The Republik. Honolulu, Hawai’i
Fresh off of a five-show tour in Japan, where they apparently caused an earthquake that measured a 5.3 on the Richter Scale, Less Than Jake stopped in Honolulu, Hawai’i for the first time in eight years and was kind enough to spend a few minutes with The Pier. The hard working Florida-based rockers will take a few weeks off before heading to Brazil to play with Hot Water Music, Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger and many others before they begin the Fat Wreck Chords Tour to support their new album, See The Light, to be released on 11/12/13.
Supporting them were local acts Completely Insane, a six-piece ska band that boasts heavy guitar riffs and completely insane brass accompaniment, and The 86 List, who sound like a cross between Dropkick Murphy’s and Rancid. The atmosphere was filled with anxious fans that have obviously been stuck in the middle of the Pacific and have not seen the Gainesville, FL punk rockers in a long time. Echoes of fan memories resonated the venue. Then the lights went out and the theme to the A-Team poured through the PA.
“This is the old dude, Howard J. Reynolds and you’re listening to Less Than Jake”, the introduction to their Capital Records release Losing Streak, and guitarist, Chris Demakes, started off the night with “Automatic”. They led right into the “Ghosts of You and Me” from their Sire Records album Anthem hinting at the notion everyone was going to hear songs that spanned their 21-year career.
“Mahalo! ALOHA!” shouted Chris Demakes, “We do consider Hawai’i part of the union”
“Scott Farcas Takes It On The Chin”, from Hello Rockview was next. The band pointed out a lady in the crowd who was obviously more experienced in her years than their regular fan base. “Chris, I think you hooked up with her in 2003” commented bass player, Roger Manganelli.
“I want to make a disclaimer” interjected Chris, “we don’t take ourselves seriously, for obvious reasons, and you shouldn’t take yourselves too seriously either” and led into their ballad, “Look What Happened (The Last Time)”, from Borders and Boundaries and re-recorded for Anthem.
They brought a sweet looking older lady up on stage to dance to one of the very few recent songs from their Greetings From Less Than Jake EP, “The New Auld Lang Syne”, and the upbeat “Motown Never Sounded So Good.”
“If I was her I would not like our band” Roger admittedly exclaimed. “We haven’t played this next song in a really long time” said Roger, “someone requested it and, dammit, we’re gonna play it!”
“We did an interview with this guy named Blake and he requested it. We haven’t fuckin’ practiced this in a while but this song is for him. If we fuck it up just go crazy and act like we’re the greatest band it the goddam world” Chris said as he and Vinnie Fiorello steered everyone into “Big Crash”.
This humble writer takes full responsibility for song request, a long with the moshing and rocking that ensued. Before the show, I was fortunate enough to do an exclusive interview on behalf of The Pier, where we discussed their upcoming album, See The Light & it being their second on Fat Wreck Chords. The Pier will soon publish the Interview, but in following the interview, I’m proud to stay I had input into their set list with classic tracks “Big Crash”, and “Liquor Store”.
The band called out all of the locals in the room and made sure no one in attendance keeps the Honolulu whorehouses in business. “I jacked off yesterday,” confessed Chris, “and went to get a massage in Waikiki. When she tried to give me a happy ending I said, fuck, I didn’t know this was part of it”
“On the count of three can we get a very loud ‘FUCK THE TOURISTS’?” asked Roger to an eager and all too compliant audience.
Losing Streak’s “Sugar In Your Gas Tank”, Anthem’s “The Science of Selling Yourself Short” created a massive circle pit/skank station. The guys located the youngest fan in attendance and told her if she came to their show on the mainland it would be considered child abuse. The 10-year-old counted the band off to Hello Rockview’s “History of a Boring Town” before they took everyone back to the “Liquor Store” from their 1996 Asian Man Records release, Pezcore followed by “Dopeman”.
“Thanks for spending your hard earned money on our mediocre humor” Roger gratefully explained before Chris confessed, “we will travel seven thousand goddam miles to come to Hawai’i, we have never been to Mississippi, Delaware, or Alaska. Fuck those states”.
They recognized their home state of Florida and closed with the tribute to their hometown, “Gainesville Rock City”, released off of their first Fat Wreck Chords record, Borders and Boundaries.
The ska/punk legends said “Mahalo” to the audience and walked off stage. It was not long before The Republik was filled with the mix of chanting fans repeating “One more song!”, “L-T-J!”, and “Hana hou!”, the Hawaiian phrase for ‘encore’.
Less Than Jake appeared back on stage and did not miss a beat while they played two songs released on Pezcore and re-released on Losing Streak, “Jen Doesn’t Like Me Anymore” and “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts”. The whole crowd was still jumping up and down in unison while they closed the night with “Plastic Cup Politics”, and said aloha and reminded the crowd to “drop your empty cups and clear your clouded heads”.
Applause, cheers, and screams reverberated from the crowd who were appreciative of the one and a half hours and twenty-two songs performed. In true Less Than Jake fashion, they stayed after the show taking pictures and greeting their fans. Twenty-one years of hard work, dedication, and tomfoolery have brought Less Than Jake to where they are now. Still one of the greatest live experiences for anyone who has heard them and it will not be long before they are back out there doing it again while promoting their See The Light album on the Fat Tour with Anti-Flag, Masked Intruder and Get Dead.
Less Than Jake Set-List:
2.) The Ghosts of You and Me
3.) Scott Farcas Takes It On The Chin
4.) Look What Happened (The Last Time)
5.) The New Auld Lang Syne
6.) Motown Never Sounded So Good
7.) Big Crash
8.) Sugar in Your Gas Tank
9.) The Science of Selling Yourself Short
10.) History of a Boring Town
11.) Liquor Store
13.) Overrated (Everything Is)
14.) Nervous In The Alley
15.) All My Best Friends Are Metalheads
16.) Animaniacs/Spongebob Squarepants
17.) Goodbye Mr. Personality
18.) Help Save The Youth of America From Exploding
19.) Gainesville Rock City
20.) Jen Doesn’t Like Me Anymore
21.) Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts
22.) Plastic Cup Politics
Less Than Jake Links:
Less Than Jake Website
Less Than Jake Facebook
Article By: Blake Taylor
Photos By: Adam Cole Barber
More Photos From The Night: