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Johnny Quest thinks they’re what?

Johnny Quest thinks they’re what?

Most bands who make it through two decades of creating and playing live music don’t quite have the energy that they started with. Less Than Jake and Pepper are exceptions to that statement, and if you attended the Fillmore last week then you know exactly what I mean.

The Bunny Gang reminds me a lot of the old second wave ska stuff, and I’ve been listening to them daily since I saw them open the show.

Despite playing such laid-back music they still put on an energetic performance that brought vocalist, Nathen Maxwell out over the barricade at one point to get up close and personal with his fans; proving that the punk rock intensity is there even when the chill rocksteady beat is playing on stage.

After 25 years Pepper is still going strong mixing reggae and punk rock together perfectly.

Pepper 30

The band’s performance left fans extremely happy as they crowdsurfed over the barricade and used their “vape pens, specifically for tobacco products” as the band played a solid mix from their full catalog.

Pepper 07

They even gave relationship advice to the men in the audience in the form of a song that was performed as a duet with guitarist Kaleo Wassman and Nathen Maxwell of the Bunny Gang.

“Half the guys in the audience won’t do that because they think it’s gross… the other half are in loving relationships. Think about it!” – Kaleo Wassman

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I saw Less Than Jake roughly 15-16 years ago, and that performance stuck with me all this time as one of the most fun I had ever seen. I thought surely after all that time that they would have slowed a bit. I was wrong in that assumption.

From the moment the first chord was struck and the confetti cannons blasted the crowd it was apparent that the band had not slowed down one bit. They started the show off with some of my favorites from Losing Streak, and then proceeded to play songs from each album both old and new.

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Johnny Quest even made an appearance while they played “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts” to throw what looked like t-shirts out into the crowd.

The audience was also treated to genuine Less Than Jake balloons, complete with the band’s logo, thrown from the stage throughout the show. Chris also inadvertently ended up on Facebook live when he asked an audience member what she was doing on her phone.

“You’re making them lazy with facebook live! Tell them to get off their ass and come see us their selves at a show instead!” – Roger Lima.

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I think the highlight of the performance for me personally was when Chris and Roger stopped between songs to invite a fan on stage with them; a young boy named Isaac that danced while they played. This is the kind of thing that I feel like I don’t see enough of anymore, and from the smile on Isaac’s face it was clear that this was a huge deal for the little guy. “The future of America looks bright if you’re coming to a Less Than Jake show!” – Chris DeMakesLess Than Jake 53

Performances by: 

Less Than Jake 

The Bunny Gang 

 See this performance:

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See rest of the album here.

Charlotte-area native, Bobby Whitmire, grew up heavily involved in the NC/SC hardcore punk music scene playing and booking shows. After a decade of moving around the country he settled in Charlotte again, where he decided to start school. At the end of 2014 he "borrowed" his family's old film camera that hadn't been touched in years, and since then you'd be hard-pressed to find him without at least one camera on him. In 2015 he decided to combine his love of punk and metal music with the passion he had for photography.


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