Less Than Jake Kept It Classic Ska-Punk

For a few hours on Sunday afternoon, SunFest’s FPL Stage took a trip back into ska nostalgia with a back-to-back bill of Less Than Jake followed by Reel Big Fish. Actually, it wasn’t a total nostalgia trip, surprisingly. The huge crowds amassed for both bands signaled that the group’s bright, goofy, slightly bratty sounds and attitudes are always going to find favor with a new crop of kids.

That meant for Less Than Jake, in particular, an audience with a surprisingly wide age spread. The ska-punk act, which hails originally from Gainesville, has ben going strong for some 20 years. That meant there were some definite grown-up original fans who had brought their kids in tow to enjoy the show. At the same time, there were plenty of young teenagers and college-age fans equally singing along to hits from as far back as the ‘90s.

It seems that Less Than Jake’s boisterous sound has aged surprisingly well. In fact, it hasn’t changed very much at all since the band’s flirtation with the mainstream in the late ‘90s. There are still charging, punk-inflected guitar, borderline immature jokes, loud horns, and singalong choruses, with newer material blending right in with old classics like “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts.” (Check out a video clip of that song below.) If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?