Less Than Jake @ House of Blues – Anaheim – 10/09/2012
The night felt promising as the first band, Mrs. Skannotto, a New York punk-ska band riled up a decently large crowd. Their great vocal harmonies encouraged people to sing along, even if this was their first time hearing them. Flatfoot 56, a Celtic punk band continued the positive trend as a circle pit started up. Flatfoot’s Eric McMahon, had the crowd going wild as he energetically played his bagpipes while sporting a kilt.
The venue was nearly packed by the time the Mad Caddies started their set. The slow, reggae jazz beat instantly got fans dancing. Songs like “Tired Bones” and “Goleta” proved to be fan favorites of the night. The polka-like sound to “Tired Bones” had people skanking in a pit while “Goleta” had hardcore fans passionately singing along to one of the band’s most popular tracks. Unlike most bands that rely on energetic antics onstage, the Caddies performed with minimal interaction but still got people moving throughout their entire set.
As Less Than Jake’s set time drew near, some headed to the bar for last minute drinks while others pushed forward, packing in like sardines. The heat within the venue had quickly intensified since fans danced throughout all three of the opening bands. As the band set up, the smell of marijuana was extremely potent, enough for the band to mention it during their set.
Fans chanted “Less Than Jake,” calling them out. As the curtain parted, a marching band-like instrumental filled the venue as the band members walked onstage.
They didn’t waste any time and kicked off their set with “City of Gainesville.” Immediately, fans began pushing, crowd surfing and dancing. Pabst Blue Ribbon cans where thrown into the crowd like beach balls, leaking its liquid onto random fans that were already drenched in sweat by the second song.
The intensity of the pit caused the whole crowd to sway to one side, almost like a domino effect. The pit wasn’t necessary a circle within the back of the venue. It took over the entire standing floor and everyone nearby where sucked into the chaos. Despite the roughness, fans jumped in unison and first pumped when appropriate.
Almost like if a cue from the crowd, Demakes also noticed the high-energy fans were letting off.
“I don’t know how to explain this, but Vegas is like, this really cool place, we played there last night but you guys have actually been better than Las Vegas,” Demakes said.
At one point, bassist and vocalist, Roger Manganelli was intrigued with a fan in the crowd with a huge Afro. Roger called for a head-banging contest and called up another fan with long hair, which he dubbed as party rock star, Andrew W.K.
“Dude I love your band! Isn’t that the guy from Coheed and Cambria?” Demakes said as the Afro fan jumped onstage.
Once the band started up their song, the two fans went wild, banging their heads and eventually wrestling with one another onstage. All the while, Demakes and Maganelli would look behind them to see the shenanigans the two fans where doing and laugh.
Although it was a Tuesday night, the band and crowd where both having a great time.
“Lots of options tonight motherf—kers, thanks for coming tonight!” Demakes screamed
The band’s jokes and humor throughout their hour and thirty minute set only added to the fun of the night. Their banter encouraged fans to respond with snarky responses, creating an atmosphere that felt more like a party.
Confetti exploded out into the crowd as Less Than Jake ended the night with “Plastic Cup Politics.” It was evident that not only where fans impressed by Less Than Jake’s stellar performance, but the band also enjoyed fan’s liveliness.