Less Than Jake in Orlando: Summer skankin’ fun–and then some!

Live Review

Less Than Jake. Photo by David Lucas.

By David Lucas, Rock At Night Orlando

Live Review: Less Than Jake with Voodoo Glow Skulls and Devon Kay & the Solutions-House of Blues, Orlando-July 22, 2023

Less Than Jake celebrates their 25-year-old Hello Rockville album, bringing it back on the road. It’s hard to believe that it has been 25 years since the release of Hello Rockville. On July 22, 2023 at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida, we got to relive the October 6, 1998 release.

Devon Kay & the Solutions. Photo by David Lucas.

Kicking off the show from Chicago, Illinois was Devon Kay & the Solutions. I have heard a little of their music which made me a little prepaid for what I was about to hear, or at least I thought. For the first band out to warm up the stage, I believe they were trying to burn it down. High energy and a great sound and live performance. Their setlist included “Oh Glorious Nothing,” “Kinda, Man,” “The Space In-Between,” “Anything at All,” “Yes, I Can’t,” “Toilet Drunk,” “Bitchin’ in Stereo,” “Fresh” and finishing up with special guest on trombone Jer from Skatune Network, Pump Fake.

Voodoo Glow Skulls. Photo by David Lucas.

Next to the stage all the way from Riverside, California, Voodoo Glow Skulls. The intro starts and then “Warning, warning, warning”, The band comes out to the stage with “Human Piñata,” a fast-paced, catchy tune from their 1998 album The Band Geek Mafia. I only have three songs to get the photos that I need and these guys are not making it easy, I want to watch the performance. Without hesitation, right into Misunderstood. Before getting into “Delinquent Song,” vocalist, Efrem Schulz yells “Let’s see that circle pit open up!”, As soon as the music started, that is exactly what happened and it stayed going through, “Make America Skank Again,” and “Generation Genocide.” For the next song Efrem asked, “Are there any Karen’s in Orlando? We ask this question every night. This next song is for all the Karens in the house. It’s called “The Karen Song.”

The pit still going and the crowd surfing underway through “Suburban Zombies” and “Shoot the Moon.” The Beatles were probably the last band on everyone’s mind, but not anymore.  Their punked out cover of “Here Comes the Sun” was the next song. To make it more exciting,  Efrem jumps off of the front of the stage and disappears running up the steps towards the upstairs bar and reappears on the balcony singing and hanging out with the people up top. After introducing one of the founding members, Jorge Casillas on bass leading into “You’re the Problem” and “Land of Misfit Toys.” The fun doesn’t stop there. They played “Charlie Brown” by the Coasters. If you’re not familiar with the next song, you would think that you are getting ready to hear a little Ozzy and Randy Rhodes cover. “Crazy Train” starts and into “Insubordination.” Finishing up with “El Coo Cooi” and “Voodoo Anthem.” The Voodoo Glow Skulls are a band that I will look forward to seeing again.

Less Than Jake. Photo by David Lucas.

Now the moment that we all have been waiting for. Train horns sound and a voice comes over and the intro starts “Welcome to Rockview, Rockview, Rockview”. Fog geysers go off around the drums and Less Than Jake takes the stage. Jumping into the first song of the Hello, Rockville album “Last One Out of Liberty City.” Vocalist Chris Demakes asked Orlando for a little help, being that they are playing the full album in song order, he will sing the first half and asked for help with the second half. Next on the list “Help Save the Youth of America from Exploding” and “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads.” Chris and Roger promise to play every song on the album and not to leave out any of the “weird songs that Roger wrote or the shitty songs that Chris wrote. With that said, they start “Five State Drive.” Giving a shout out to the interpreters, Roger wants to see them sign “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and they nailed it, from what he said. Chris then introduces “The best trombone player in our band” Mr Buddy Schaub as he starts them into “Nervous in the Alley.” Asking for the circle pit to start up, what better song to get it going, “Motto.” For “History of a Boring Town” they ask for everyone, the balcony, bartenders, security to start bouncing when the chorus hits. You could see many people jumping and singing along with this one.

Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake. Photo by David Lucas.

“Congratulations, We have made it through the A side of the record” Chris was given a note that said, “My son was named after your band, he is 16 and this is his first show”. Picking him out of the audience, they invite Jake to the stage for the next song, “Great American Sharpshooter.” Between Danny Says and Big Crash the guys take a minute to talk to some kids in the audience and joke around for a minute. Following “Theme Song for H Street,” is a song written by Chris about his first punk rock friend, “Richard Allen George”… “No, It’s Just Cheez” and having the audience to sing along “ay ya ya ya, cinco de mustache, the kids that are hip, they grow hair on their lip, they don’t have their razors, and don’t give a shit, they grow and grow and grow, so let your mustache show, oh yeah oh yeah whoo!” Scott Farcas’ “Takes It on the Chin” was supposed to be the last song on the record. Chris and Roger wrote one more song, and they stuck it at the end of the record, “Al’s War.”

The guys exit the stage. For the encore they come back out with some more of their older songs and a couple more recent ones.

The Science of Selling Yourself Short 2003

Automatic 1996

Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts 1996

Lie to Me 2020

Gainesville Rock City 2012

Look What Happened 2003

Before exiting the stage Roger took the time to pick up the band’s set lists from the floor and hand them out to the audience. He even made a paper airplane out of one to get it further out into the audience.

PHOTO GALLERY 

Less Than Jake

Voodoo Glow Skulls

 

Devon Kay & the Solutions

 

David Lucas

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