Less Than Jake/Catch 22/the Loved Ones - live in Gainesville (Cover Artwork)

Less Than Jake / Catch 22 / the Loved Ones

live in Gainesville (2006)

live show

It may just be my imagination, but for a while it seemed like Less Than Jake shows around Florida were fairly few and far between. Since 2001, I've probably only had one opportunity a year to see them play. But for the past year they've been popping up so often that within less than a year, I've seen them twice as many times as I had the preceding five years. As much as I hate to say it regarding one of my favorite bands of all time, I was becoming severely burnt out on the Jake. But the chance to see the band two nights in a row in Gainesville, their hometown, felt too good to pass up. And even if there was any doubt in my mind, the Loved Ones definitely sealed the deal.

The shows had the same lineup and playing order both nights, which saw New Mexican Disaster Squad up first. I'm originally from Orlando, so I was interested in hearing these guys, being from my former home and all. The guys got up on stage the first night, talked some shit, and kicked into the first song with a scream so loud that my ears are still ringing from it two days later. I'm not really into a hell of a lot of hardcore, but they played pretty well and very tight. I don't know any of their songs, but one title mentioned was "Tightrope," if you care. The first nine songs were all said to be new material, and the last three were "old stuff." For the most part, no one really cared about NMDS, which I think has a lot to do with the bill. Plus, most attendees didn't bother to show up for most of the openers. Not much to be said for the second night. Same tight performance, same set list, same (lack of) crowd response.

Up next: the Loved Ones. Like a good amount of people on this website, I am a big fan of TLO. Keep Your Heart will definitely be on my list of year-end favorites for 2006, and while I will admit that a lot of their songs sound similar, they're all still good so I don't give a shit. The band played the same set both nights, just rearranged. However, the second night did feature the debut of a brand new song. I don't recall the title, or if they even mentioned it, but it was…good? I honestly don't remember much about it, which would make it extremely unfair for me to pass any sort of judgment on it. I can say that it seemed within the realms of their past releases. Instrumentally, the performance was very solid. Vocally however, Dave strains through the majority of the set, leading him to leave out a lot of lines. I can't say it really took away from the set at all though, because he remains incredibly energetic and you can just feel the heart that goes into his performance. I do have to call myself out though, and admit that I am being ultra biased. If I saw that type of vocal display from any other band I didn't like as much, I would be talking some hardcore shit. But that's life. Deal with it. The Loved Ones rule.

Catch 22. Over the course of two nights, they mainly played material off their newest release, which I've never heard, and probably never will. Off Dinosaur Sounds: "Wine Stained Lips," "Motown Cinderella," and "Chin Up" I believe was all. Alone in the Crowd: "Point the Blame," "Sounds Good, But I Don't Know," and "It Takes Some Time." Then it was just "Keasbey Nights" and "9mm and a Three Piece Suit" from the fan-favorite album named after the former. There aren't a lot of ska bands I care to listen to anymore, including these guys. I must say though: They have one of the best horn sections I've encountered. Very crisp. Very punchy. Very great. Solid performance both nights, with plenty of token little kids dancing around.

Alright. Here we go. The main course. Less Than Jake. Both nights started with the same three songs: "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads," "Overrated (Everything Is)," and "Ghosts of You and Me." The first night, these three were followed by "Automatic" and then by two dudes from the audience coming up on stage to battle each other á la MTV's "Yo Momma" style. The disses these guys came up with were unbelievably terrible. I could probably remember them if I tried, but they are not worth repeating, and I wish no one else the pain and embarrassment that comes from merely hearing them. The rest of the set was decided by a "Wheel of Fortune"-esque device built by Roger and placed on the side of the stage. The wheel featured a set's worth of random LTJ songs, so someone would spin the wheel and whatever song the arrow pointed to, they played. It was claimed that if the same song was spun twice, they would have to play it again, but this rule was not abided by. I won't be able to remember the set in precise order, being that the repeated process of randomly selecting songs is all a blur to me, but I'll list all the songs featured on the wheel at the end. I don't believe they got to all the songs on the wheel, but I'm not sure.

On the second night, the initial three songs were followed by something I feel quite privileged for having been a part of. The band took a round of Jager shots and announced that they would be playing their Losing Streak record in its entirety. The announcement incited some crazy cheers for the fan-favorite record, while I couldn't respond with much more than a "Holy shit." Personally, I would've shit my pants for Hello Rockview, but this was still pretty damn awesome. Roger made a few comments about playing their "best record ever," which I safely assumed to be sarcasm, and they kicked into "Automatic" with the "This is the old dude…" clip and everything. That's something I do want to point out as being rad, that they included all the sound clips. Awesome.

After finishing the set with "Lockdown," Chris came back on for the encore to play "Rest of My Life" with just J.R. backing him up and the rest of the band jumping in toward the end of the song. A couple more LTJ standards, then the encore ended with "The Science of Selling Yourself Short." Chris announced the possibility of a second encore if they cheered for long enough before they walked off, but I didn't hang around to see how it turned out. But yeah, that's about it. I only wrote this review to let Less Than Jake fans all over the world know what they missed out on. Losing Streak. Pretty fucking awesome.

Songs on "The Wheel":

  • Liquor Store
  • My Very Own Flag
  • Soundman/Soundcheck
  • 9th at Pine
  • Sugar in Your Gas Tank
  • Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts
  • Last One Out of Liberty City
  • Help Save the Youth of America from Exploding
  • Nervous in the Alley
  • History of a Boring Town
  • Great American Sharpshooter
  • Scott Farcas Takes It on the Chin
  • Al's War
  • Faction
  • Plastic Cup Politics
  • P.S. Shock the World
Setlist, Night #2:
  • All My Best Friends Are Metalheads
  • Overrated (Everything Is)
  • Ghosts of You and Me
  • Losing Streak:
  • Automatic
  • Happyman
  • 9th at Pine
  • Sugar in Your Gas Tank
  • Shindo
  • 107
  • Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts
  • Krazy Glue
  • Never Going Back to New Jersey
  • How's My Driving, Doug Hastings?
  • Just Like Frank
  • Ask the Magic 8 Ball
  • Dopeman
  • Jen Doesn't Like Me Anymore
  • Rock-N-Roll Pizzeria
  • Lockdown
  • --------------
  • Rest of My Life
  • Gainesville Rock City
  • Look What Happened (The Last Time)
  • The Science of Selling Yourself Short