It’s been nearly three years since influential ska punk group The Mighty Mighty Bosstones last stepped foot inside New York City (August 6, 2012, to be exact), and the crowd lined up outside of Webster Hall on Wednesday (where they performed that last NYC gig) couldn’t wait to catch them perform.
Opening the evening were Los Angeles ska band The Interrupters, and even though they exuded the aura of a veteran group, they’ve only been active for a few years. Along with brothers Kevin (guitarist), Justin (bassist), and Jesse Bivona (drummer), frontwoman Aimee Interrupter, who has seen seminal success in her solo career, took the stage for their first ever performance in New York City, and they kicked things off with “Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me”, which is the final track from their 2014 self-titled debut studio album. Kevin and Justin bounced around the stage while Aimee sang with a raw vocal range a la Brody Dalle. While the group mainly performed material from their album, they did manage to drop a cover of Operation Ivy’s “Sound System”. The band will be headed back to NYC’s Terminal 5 in September as support on Rancid’s upcoming North American tour.
Boston punk outfit Street Dogs, led by former Dropkick Murphys vocalist Mike McColgan, have become one of punk rock’s most solid acts, touring consistently throughout the world and gaining a rising fanbase over the years. McColgan couldn’t stay in one place for too long during the band’s 45 minute set; at times, he would sing on the side of the stage or make his way to the barricade to sing with fans. Since they were in the Big Apple, the band decided to give the crowd a treat by bringing Ramones bassist C.J. Ramone on stage to perform the Motorhead classic “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”, which also featured C.J. giving a happy birthday shoutout to Marky Ramone.
As 9:30 p.m. struck on the clock, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, led by vocalist and Jimmy Kimmel Live announcer Dicky Barrett, arrived on stage to a massive volume of cheers from a packed house before kicking off their 28 song set with “The Old School Off the Bright” from their 2002 studio album A Jackknife to a Swan. The band’s setlist read like one of those typical “best of” compilations that you randomly find at a supermarket. Sure, you had the radio hits such as “Somewhere I Suppose” and “The Impression That I Get”, but you also had fan favorites such as “Dr. D”, “Hope I Never Lose My Wallet”, and “Where’d You Go?” thrown in.
While Dicky effortlessly brought folks in with his gravelly voice, it didn’t stop trombone player Chris Rhodes from providing some vocals from time to time. Saxophonist Tim “Johnny Vegas” Burton managed to get some vocal time as well, pulling his mic stand to the front of the stage during the track “He’s Back”.
“You’re too young to be old school,” joked Dicky to someone in the front row before launching into “Devil’s Night Out” from the band’s 1989 debut studio album of the same name, which is considered to be one of the first ska-core albums to have been released. The group also managed to deliver two covers that night: The Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail” and Minor Threat’s “Think Again”.
In the special guests section of the night, Street Dogs frontman Mike McColgan joined the band in singing along to “Nevermind Me”, and The Interrupters bounced their way through “Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah”.
Closing the evening with “Another Drinkin’ Song”, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones showed everyone, even a few naysayers in attendance, why they’re still one of the tightest live bands around.