Saturday, October 1, 2016

Concert Review: Less Than Jake Return To The Wolf Den For A Fun Friday Night Show

When you think of going out to a concert on Friday night, you want it to be fun, enjoyable and memorable. Last night, Mohegan Sun brought in the ultimate party band when Less Than Jake visited the Wolf Den for a free show. This punk/ska band from Gainesville, FL will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2017 and they used this show as a warm-up gig for their upcoming U.K. tour which kicks off on October 3rd.

Their ninety-minute set featured 23 of their favorite songs as they mixed together the punk fury of "Rock And Roll Pizzaria" with the ska horns of "Give Me Something To Believe In." Lead singer/guitarist Chris DeMakes was very talkative with the audience, encouraging the consumption of alcohol so the band may sound better latter on in their set. The performance was a homecoming for saxophonist Peter "JR" Wasilewski, who is a native of Wallingford and had loads of family in the audience, including his mom and brother. The ongoing joke of the evening was that Less Than Jake were not selling any merchandise, but they were selling stag tickets for Wasilewski's brother.

The army of Less Than Jake fans covering the floor in front of the stage got into the classics like "Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts" and "Sugar In Your Gas Tank" moving to the song's fast pace. An older couple, in their late-seventies took the opportunity to dance together during "Nervous In The Alley," as the song's ska-like tones moved them to join the in the fun. A mosh pit only broke out once during the intense, quick pace of "Last One Out Of Liberty City."

Bass player Roger Lima, took over the lead vocals on the "Plastic Cup Politics" as he seem pleased with the response the band received from the audience surrounding the stage. The energy was full on all night as trombone player Buddy Schaub ran back and forth across the stage, getting the crowd to howl like wolves after every song. The night also included guest trombone player Chris Rhodes from the Might Mighty Bosstones, while drummer Vinnie Fiorello kept the songs on pace throughout the night.

Their main set finished with "Look What Happened" as Less Than Jake left the stage for a moment, only as DeMakes and Wasilewski returned to the stage for the opening lyrics of "The Rest Of My Life." The rest of the band joined them back on stage and continued their encore with the fan favorite "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads" and closed the night paying homage to their hometown with "City Of Gainesville." Less Thank Jake's last appearance at Mohegan Sun was back in the nineties and the crowd was very welcoming to their most recent appearance at the Wolf Den as the band work toward making the Wolf Den Wall of Fame.

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