Marquette Wire

Less Than Jake and Pepper bring perfect blend of chill and energetic to the Rave

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Photo Credit to The Rave

Photo Credit to The Rave

Photo Credit to The Rave

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Tuesday night the Rave welcomed back ska/reggae/punk influenced groups Less Than Jake and Pepper along with a colorful cast of supporting acts. Supporting acts included Kash’d Out, a Sublime influenced band from Florida that recently signed to Pepper’s record label, and Oklahoma City band Red City Radio. Kash’d Out presented much more laid-back and reggae influenced songs whereas Red City Radio’s setlist was much more rock and punk influenced. This dynamic was similar to the one that existed between the night’s headliners. Although Pepper’s music includes ska elements, it has a much more reggae feel than the anthemic punk melodies and distorted guitars that are characteristic of a Less Than Jake show.

The crowd was beginning to get anxious for the night’s headlining acts after Red City Radio finished their set. Pepper made sure not to keep the crowd waiting. The three-piece rock reggae group opened up with the song “StormTrooper,” and then proceeded to go right into the song Dry Spell. Throughout their set, Pepper kept the crowd engaged by playing pulsing bass, heavy reggae influenced songs, as well as frantic ska songs that prompted wilder fans to begin moshing in a circle pit.

Toward the middle of the set, the group mixed it up by inviting the horn section from Less Than Jake to join them for one of the faster ska songs. Pepper also invited the lead singer of Kash’d Out up on stage to sing the song “F— Around (All Night).” That wasn’t the end of the fun though. The end of the set featured Pepper’s drummer performing a solo to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and an encore featuring the songs “Crazy Love” and “Ashes,” as well as a burst of confetti. The personality and unique stage presence of the band was what made the set great overall.

There was no time to rest after Pepper’s performance, because soon enough Less Than Jake took the Rave’s stage with authority. The band began the set with “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads” off of “Hello Rockview.” Less Than Jake has always been known for their dynamic stage performance and over-the-top on-stage antics, and they did not disappoint. A fan was invited to come on stage and enjoy a congratulatory beer for making a long drive to come to the show. The bands mascot came on stage on separate occasions to throw toilet paper at the crowd of people gathered near the front of the room. Confetti bursts and smoke were blasted throughout the duration of the set.

Song highlights included “Things Change,” “Plastic Cup Politics (Anthem)” and “The Science of Selling Yourself Short.” One of the greatest parts of being at a Less Than Jake show is the contagious energy that the band has to offer. Less Than Jake is terrific at getting fans excited to be in a concert venue enjoying live music. I realized this fact when I noticed myself singing and dancing along with the rest of the crowd, despite the fact that the show landed on a busy Tuesday night. Even though the lyrics of their songs aren’t always happy, ska bands like Less Than Jake show us that there is always a lighter side to every situation, and that always comes through in their performances.

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