For my birthday on Sunday, I hit up the 9:30 Club to see a band that produced one of my favorite albums of the 90s, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
First off, wow was the people watching amazing at this show. You had a guy dressed as what could best be described as a steam punk magician moshing next to a guy in Jason Campbell Redskins jersey (really?) moshing next to an elderly man in a pastel plaid suit. I lost count of how many people were wearing old timey golf hats. It was amazing.
The Interrupters from Los Angeles were up first and were an enjoyable 90s style punk sound with female vocals. The guitarist and bass player were very active on stage, basically running in place and/or hopping at all times. They were pretty young. This sparked a discussion in our section between acts – what leads an 18 year old or whatever nowadays to start a ska or otherwise obviously 90s style band today? Not that some people don’t still like those styles, obviously. But you are clearly choosing a genre that is past its peak from a potential success standpoint. Our best theory is that basically these kids parents were huge punk fans in the 90s and they grew up on it from a young age. Turns out we weren’t that far off: the lead singer of the Bosstones brought the guitar player back out during their set and it’s his oldest child.
The next band, Street Dogs, were from Boston, also played a distinctly 90s style punk despite not forming until 2002, and were enjoyable enough for an opener. Interrupters were better.
At this point in the show, lots of Bosstones memories from the 90s came flooding back to me. I had somehow forgot that this was the band that has a guy that basically just dances. Like a hip hop hype man, but for ska. Thankfully he’s still in the band, because watching him dance around all goofy on stage for 90 minutes was really the highlight of the night. He ties everything together. If I ever start a band, someone remind me that I want a delightful, dancing guy on stage at all times.
Two songs in the band busted out “The Rascal King,” aka my favorite Bosstones song. Sadly they’d only performed three songs off Let’s Face It in their 26 song set (the others being the cover track and “The Impression That I Get,” obviously). I would have loved to hear “Royal Oil” live. They did throw in a few cool covers though, including “Rudie Can’t Fail” by the Clash and “Think Again” by Minor Threat. The lead singer has even more of a smokers voice than he had in the 90s, but it was still pretty fun. The horn section is on point. It was a nice, nostalgic birthday experience. But I have no need to see them again. Once was enough.