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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Less Than Jake’s Wake and Bake Weekend starts Saturday

<p>Less Than Jake vocalist and bassist Roger Manganelli plays at the High Dive during the band’s Wake and Bake event in 2012. The band will perform t at the High Dive Aug. 30-Aug. 31.</p>

Less Than Jake vocalist and bassist Roger Manganelli plays at the High Dive during the band’s Wake and Bake event in 2012. The band will perform t at the High Dive Aug. 30-Aug. 31.

October marks UF’s Homecoming, but a different kind of homecoming — one of the punk-rock variety — starts this weekend at High Dive. 

The Gainesville-bred, ska-punk rockers of Less Than Jake will kick off their third annual Wake and Bake weekend, a two-day-long festival that attracts fans from as close as UF to as far as England. 

Wake and Bake, according to Alligator archives, began two years ago as an intimate gathering for Less Than Jake’s family, friends and local fans. 

The festival has grown considerably in popularity since then, attracting super fans from around the world in addition to local music buffs who’ve followed the band’s immensely successful 22-year run. 

“Most of us went to college here — most of us failed out of college here — but our roots are [in Gainesville],” drummer and lyricist Vinnie Fiorello said. 

“The ebb and flow of Gainesville is what keeps me [here]. You have freshmen and college kids coming in, bringing different ideas and tastes from where they come from. It’s a constant flow of ideas and music and head space.”

This year’s Wake and Bake weekend arrives at the end of a busy summer for the band, which spent the past few months playing across America with Vans Warped Tour. 

From Aug. 14 to 19, the band traveled to Russia to perform at the international music festival Kubana-2014. 

Fiorello said one major change in this year’s lineup is the bands they chose to have open for them. 

In the past, Wake and Bake has featured national bands, but this year the opening acts are all younger Florida-based groups.

“I’m excited about that,” Fiorello said. “Being able to support Florida music is important to Less Than Jake.”

Wake and Bake weekend begins Saturday at 1 p.m. with a tailgate at High Dive and bingo hosted by Less Than Jake frontman Chris DeMakes. 

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Local food trucks will be on site, and the band is bringing back its legendary Less Than Jake yard sale, featuring old and new merch. 

On Sunday evening, fans who purchased the VIP bundle have the opportunity to perform live band karaoke with the members of Less Than Jake themselves. 

Doors for the Saturday night Less Than Jake performance open on Saturday night at 8 p.m. with guest openers Duppies, UNRB, Teen Agers and Bill Perry Orchestra. 

On Sunday night, doors open at 7 p.m. with guest openers Mighty Mongo, Chilled Monkey Brains and General Tso’s Fury. 

“Show up early; support the Florida music scene,” Fiorello said. “See some opening bands you might not have heard of, or heard of but never seen.”

Less Than Jake prides itself in not ditching Gainesville for the fast-paced Los Angeles music scene. 

It frequently pays homage to the city in both its discography and production — their most recent record, last year’s “See the Light,” was written, recorded and produced in Gainesville. 

“They’re a band that really represents Gainesville’s music scene,” Pat Lavery, owner of local booking company Glory Days Presents!, said. 

“They mix so many music styles… Gainesville is a melting pot, and their sound reflects that.”

“In Los Angeles, the music industry is a constant,” Fiorello said. 

“You have people that float in and out of that constant, but Gainesville has these waves of creativity that come in. It’s influenced my music and the way I look at the world.”

Tickets are $15 in advance or $17 at the doors, available for presale either on Ticketweb.com or without fees at Hear It Again Music, the High Dive box office and High Tides. 

On Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m., there’s no cover. A $3 underage fee will be applied at the door, and showgoers younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

[A version of this story ran on page 7 on 8/28/2014 under the headline "Less Than Jake’s Wake and Bake Weekend starts Saturday "]

Less Than Jake vocalist and bassist Roger Manganelli plays at the High Dive during the band’s Wake and Bake event in 2012. The band will perform t at the High Dive Aug. 30-Aug. 31.

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