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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Less Than Jake at the Firebird, 9/19/12: Highlights

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 9:37 AM

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10. I'm always amazed at how clear and unchanging Demakes' and Mangenelli's voices have been. After twenty years of leading LTJ, these two still bring the same nasal skate-punk sound as they did in the "Pezcore" days, completely unmarred by constant touring.

11. LTJ brought Firebird talent buyer Robert McClimans to the stage, with Demakes sharing, "He took me to Walgreens today. He's been following us since he was a kid, and now he's a promoter. This is why we do this, St. Louis!"

12. The band dedicated "Goodbye, Mr. Personality" to "our old friends in [St. Louis ska band] MU330."

13. As LTJ returned to perform "Nervous in the Alley" for its encore, Demakes exclaimed, "We just got great news! It's Chris' birthday, so the club will be staying open so we can drink! And put it all on Chris' credit card!" Rhodes countered with, "You can kiss my black ass."

14. Mangenelli implored the audience to perform one last time for the livestream cameras during "Plastic Cup Politics," the band's final song. "If you're not in the circle pit, you're technically in the fucking way," he said.

15. When I arrived toward the end of A Wilhelm Scream's set at 9:20 p.m., the Firebird was crowded but nowhere near a sellout. As Less Than Jake took the stage at 10 p.m., the floor was packed but the sides were still largely vacant.

16. I couldn't escape politics even at a ska-punk show, as a group near me discussed Mitt Romney's "47%" quite a bit.

17. My pen rolled off of the table and into a puddle of beer. Ew.

Age before beauty: To me, the crowd appeared to average around age 22, which made me feel ungodly old. Firebird photographer Bryan Sutter told me he had the opposite experience at different vantage points in the club, spying many 40-year-old men with their assumed young girlfriends.

Ladies in the crowd: Many appeared to have just gotten "My First Makeup" kits, and one girl was wearing a pair of red plaid pants that resembled the ones I had embarrassingly bought from Avril Lavigne's line at Kohl's three years ago.

Men in the crowd: Hats were a key fashion item, with fedoras, flat caps and even a bedazzled Affliction-esque baseball cap making appearances.

A sea of shirts: Bands represented on attire included the usual suspects -- NOFX, Reel Big Fish, Fishbone, Aquabats, Rancid... and Freelance Whales?

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