Issue 5 Contents


The Caffeine Nation Tour: Descendents, Less than Jake, Guttermouth, Handsome, and Tree @ Lupo's, 5/14/97

Milo loves coffee. In fact, all of the Descendents love to drink the java. Milo also went to college, got a degree, and now does biochemistry plant research in the midwest. If you don't know all this you can now consider yourself informed- if you did know than you probably know that missing the Descendents is a foolish thing to do.

Stephan Egerton, The Descendents

To make sure I was fully prepared for the Caffeine Nation tour, I drank coffee all day. I went to work at the super Computer Co. for my day job and had two cups of cafeteria sludge to get going. Then, to stop sweating, I had three cokes; two before lunch and one with my lunch.

After lunch I brought another cup of cafeteria sludge back to my cube. When I finished that I had another coke, and a new beverage for the healthy-minded, Krank20 (water with "maximum caffeine.") It was like welcome to the nex't level baby- I was Caffeine King- nothing could stop me. I was ready to twitch along all night by the time I left work for the show.


Of course being the corporate guy that I am, I missed both Tree and Handsome. Sorry, can't afford caffeine unless I work too. Most other people were lacking caffeine- hell most of them weren't old enough to buy a legal cup of joe. Handsome finished their set and Guttermouth came out quick.

I hadn't heard of Guttermouth (sorry)- but I'm a quick learner- they rock OK. Goofy, loud, and fast. Their front man was full of energy- making funny faces, shoving the mic into the pit for singalongs, and generally making an ass of himself in the name of fun punks everywhere. It wasn't the most original stuff, but it went down well.

Guttermouth does straight 3 min punk. No time for symbolism, just get it out and go. They did songs like "Fuck the Hippies," "Where Was I?," and the crowd favorites "Bruce Lee" and "Asshole." These guys are perfect punks. They don't go for the manic panic, safety pin look, but they do mix in some decent Oi in for the faithful.

With all the caffeine in my system I was all over the place. They let us up on stage to bounce around, sing along, or look stupid- whatever you wanted. The bouncers didn't like it- one in particular got into some scuffles trying to keep the throngs from the holy stage, but he was greatly out-numbered and totally overworked.

Less Than Jake

Less than Jake was up next, so I made sure to stand off to the side when taking pictures. Last time they played Providence the stage was full of kids jumping around- they almost couldn't play there were so many.

This time there weren't as many stage jumpers, which was nice because LTJ really rock if you like their style. LTJ do a good mix of ska and punk with a full horn section and a great fun time attitude. They hail from Florida which explains their sloppy beach attitude.

Less Than Jake
LTJ are also some kind of workaholics- they have like 12 things out, including a new major release and some new 7" stuff. Their live set is a mix of new stuff, old stuff and stuff they really don't know. They did a bunch of new songs like the upbeat "Scott Takes it in the Head," and some other stuff I didn't catch. To mix it up they did favorites like "Johnny West thinks We're Sellouts," and "Shindo." They even attempted to do one of their 'old' songs- a cover of the "Dukes of Hazard" theme for some guy who wanted to hear it so bad he came up on stage and showed his ass.

LTJ pelted everybody with stickers, squirt guns, and LTJ trading cards to keep things friendly. They throw more shit out than any other band I've ever seen. I really think they employ somebody to throw out handfuls of stickers.

After a quick equipment change the Descendants came out. Since they've been together on and off since 1978 or so they play tight. Descendants songs are caffeine-fueled and make you want to twitch around. Twitching in place is one way to get girls to notice you, so what the hell might as well.

Milo and the boys ripped through like 25 songs during their set. There was a little crowd banter between, but mostly it was a java based jumpathon of punk. They did shit like "My Dad Sucks," as well as many of the songs off their new CD "Everything Sucks."


I must say it makes me almost misty-eyed to see the Descendants. They gave hope to every nerdy looking geek with the guts to go to a punk show back in the day. Its been great to see Milo get all grown up and settled. In fact the Milo story seems to be a big part of why people like the Descendants. Their albums are their history, and its great that they incorporate so much of themselves in to their music.