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Less Than Jake - Anthology [DVD] Album Cover

Less Than Jake - Anthology [DVD]

Reviewed by
8.8
Less Than Jake - Anthology
Record Label: Sleep It Off Records
Release Date: June 21, 2011
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
I'm a big supporter of the current trend of bands performing their albums in their entirety, as it's a unique experience from both the band's and their fans' perspectives. Back in 2007, Less Than Jake took it a step further: they played all six of their full-length albums from front to back over the course of six days at three different venues in their home state of Florida. Even better, the performances were documented on film. It may have taken four years, but the shows are finally available on the band's new DVD set, Anthology.

Less Than Jake fans have already been awarded a plethora of live footage on the band's prior DVD, 2004's The People's History of Less Than Jake, as well as the recent re-releases of their back catalogue, which featured DVDs of their full albums compiled from various shows. This time around, however, it's an entire show dedicated to each album.

One might expect such an ambitious undertaking to commence with some monumental theatrics, but the fun-loving guys do just the opposite. When the house lights come up, vocalist/guitarist Chris Demakes ponders aloud, "Who the hell do we think we are, fuckin' Guns n' Roses?" Vocalist/bassist Roger Manganelli then comes in with the unmistakable bass intro to "Last One out of Liberty City" to kick off 1998's Hello Rockview. It's a good place to start, as many fans consider it the band's best effort, and those lucky enough to witness it live react accordingly.

Curiously, the band chose to play the albums out of order. Even stranger, the discs are presented in an order that is not chronological in terms of the albums' respective releases nor of the order in which they were performed. It's a bit jarring for the obsessive-compulsive viewer, but through the wonders of technology, you can watch them in whatever order you'd lke.

The band powers through each of their six studio albums (GNV FLA did not exist at the time) with cameras rolling to capture their seemingly impossible levels of non-stop energy. Their amusing, raunchy and degrading (to themselves, each other and the audience) stage banter is also ever-present. It's cool to see the band perform songs that they have never played live before.

Each show is followed by a few bonus tracks, including B-sides and even karaoke, in which the band allows a fan them on stage to perform. After all is said and done, each show runs for about an hour (although the band played much longer; most of the encore songs are exercised since they can be found elsewhere in the set).

The multi-track audio is better than anything you'd likely hear at an actual show, courtesy of a mix by Manganelli himself. Trombonist Buddy Schaub, meanwhile, handled the editing. The video quality is good, with a few different angles filmed from the back of the venues. It would have been nice to have additional camera locations (especially for close-ups rather than wide angle shots with zooming) and superior lighting afforded by a larger location, but that's not what band is about. Part of the appeal is that they're having as much fun on stage as the crowd is.

And it's obvious that the band is enjoying themselves. Look no further than the performance of In With The Out Crowd. It was their newest album at the time and remains the black sheep of their catalogue for its departure from their normal sound. For the performance of their self-proclaimed "shittiest album," Demakes came out in a corporate get-up, complete with a suit, wig and sunglasses. The crowd seemed less into it than the other albums, but everyone still had a good time.

There is no post-recording studio magic to be found here. The band sounds great as a whole, and any imperfections remain intact, bringing to life the "live" aspects of the shows. The musicians occasionally make minor mistakes - an excusable offense, considering they had around 150 songs to memorize. There is a part during Losing Streak where the audio drops out. As a result, a couple of the songs are reduced in audio quality but remain better than your average YouTube video. I also must note that the video output becomes pixelated at one point. I hope that it was just a fluke on my copy, but I have a feeling it may be a problem on all of them.

Any fan of the band would have been more than satisfied just to have these shows documented, but the set is rounded out by a fourth disc of bonus footage that spans the group's entire touring career. It is largely made up of even more live videos, but there's some fun backstage antics mixed in as well.

It starts with grainy camcorder footage from their first tour in 1995 (with surprisingly good audio quality, considering the time). Despite the audience of only a handful of people, the band's energy remains high. The crowds steadily grow in size as the videos get more recent, one of the highlights of which is seeing a giant circle pit in the middle of some 80,000 people who then cheer the band's name at the end.

Perhaps the most worthwhile and certainly the longest portion of the bonus disc is a 25-minute chunk of footage from the last show on their The Price Is Right-themed tour. They invite fans on stage to play games such as Plinko and spin the big wheel to decide from which album they will play songs.

The only complaints one could make about Less Than Jake's Anthology are minor and easily forgivable. For the price of a normal DVD (this bad boy retails for a mere $16.98), you get over eight hours of footage. Always spoiling their fans, Less Than Jake have provided the holy grail of band DVDs. One can only hope that, after five more albums, the band will release another set.

Recommended If You LikeLess Than Jake - if you enjoy any of their albums, you have no excuse not to get this.

lessthanjake.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 17
09:03 AM on 07/11/11
#2
mike_aaron
I sing.
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I definitely want this. Such an amazing band!
09:43 AM on 07/11/11
#3
smelltheglove
youarealldumbemokids
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as a relatively big LTJ fan since 1997, I of course had to have this and was pleased with the $15 price tag at the indy chain store I found it at. Totally worth it obviously. It's cool to hear the albms in sequence and cool to hear the songs i've never heard them play live before. The quality is solid, definitly a must-have for any LTJ fan.
09:53 AM on 07/11/11
#4
Nolessthanblink
Are you watching closely?
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Didn't know this would be so cheap! Outstanding
01:31 PM on 07/11/11
#5
Rysker6
I am not Tom Delonge
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That's a really good deal for 8 hours of video.
09:49 PM on 07/11/11
#6
Jaytothesyg
The Greatest Generation
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One of my favorite live bands ever. Definitely buying this at warped!!!
12:14 PM on 07/12/11
#7
Clockwork00
Write it on the walls and read it.
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Never really listened to them but this is an immensely cool idea. I wish more bands would do this.
01:52 PM on 07/12/11
#8
brainstew123
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One of my favorite live bands ever. Definitely buying this at warped!!!
they were so good at the mn date, but i had to leave early to see the wonder years.
08:34 PM on 07/12/11
#9
Jaytothesyg
The Greatest Generation
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they were so good at the mn date, but i had to leave early to see the wonder years.
Twy is my main priority my friend missed ltj at the detroit date cuz of the same situation...It better not happen to me!
01:30 PM on 07/13/11
brainstew123
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Twy is my main priority my friend missed ltj at the detroit date cuz of the same situation...It better not happen to me!
it was terrible! i also really want to see pepper, but hellogoodbye was playing at the same time too. twys was far the best show for me, like soupy made eye contact with smiled and pointed at me during the middle of it. the whole show itself was really personally and i felt like i was actually part of it. later i got to scream into the mic to when he jump in the crowd... also like at least 30 kids hardcore dancing lol
11:35 AM on 07/15/11
Jaytothesyg
The Greatest Generation
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it was terrible! i also really want to see pepper, but hellogoodbye was playing at the same time too. twys was far the best show for me, like soupy made eye contact with smiled and pointed at me during the middle of it. the whole show itself was really personally and i felt like i was actually part of it. later i got to scream into the mic to when he jump in the crowd... also like at least 30 kids hardcore dancing lol
God haha I cant wait...Wednesday!!!!! I'm going to Pittsburgh on Friday as well so if something does happen I feel like I'll get to see all the bands I want too no matter what! I wish HGB was playing my date
01:44 PM on 07/15/11
brainstew123
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God haha I cant wait...Wednesday!!!!! I'm going to Pittsburgh on Friday as well so if something does happen I feel like I'll get to see all the bands I want too no matter what! I wish HGB was playing my date
i wish i could go to two dates, i guess i could go to wisconsin but, yeah i hope it works out for you, twy are amazing. hellogoodbyes show was really funny and energetic. id pay 40 bucks just to see them and the wonder years. also it was hgb's last show on the warped this year so that weas cool
01:01 PM on 07/16/11
TZE
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awesomely detailed review
05:41 PM on 07/16/11
hectorial85
Saved The Day
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Great review. Great band. Great DVD.
06:42 PM on 07/16/11
fredrico0012
Listen to Less Than Jake
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Is this available online anywhere? It was sold out once I knew where to order this too.

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