This past Thursday, I headed to Philadelphia’s Center City bar and upstair music venue Milkboy to see The Voodoo Glow Skulls and Hub City Stompers despite battling a cold that left me exhausted. I’ve never been to this spot before, as they tend to usually host more indie bands and singer/songwriter tyoes types as opposed to punk and ska bands, which is a shame because it was a pretty rad venue.
Last time I caught Voodoo Glow Skulls headline a show nearly 6 years ago, the place was practically empty with only about 40 of us there. This time the venue was freaking packed, without much room to walk around (did ska grow in the last 6 years or something?) My girlfriend and I got there right as Hub City Stompers were setting up.
Hub City Stompers:
Growing up in NJ and frequenting ska shows around the tri-state area, I don’t think there’s a ska band I’ve seen more than Hub City Stompers. Playing traditional ska mixed with punk, oi and hardcore, HCS creates a sound very uniquely them. The small stage at Milkboy looked like it could barely fit all of them as they blasted through their set.
Playing a set primarily consisting of songs off their latest Life After Death, the band played a tight and fun set with plenty of us singing along to songs like Pants Music, Ska Ska Black Sheep, Leave Me The Fuck Alone, Sharky 17 (a cover of Rev. Sin’s other band Inspecter 7) And Bumbl-B. Always a good time, I still always try and make sure I catch these guys when they come around since I’ve first seen them back in 2004.
Voodoo Glow Skulls:
It’s rare that California ska punk veterans Voodoo Glow Skulls make it around to Philly or the east coast in general. Still active after 27 years, The Voodoo Glow Skulls still put on an incredibly fun live show. Taking the stage donning their trademark mexican wrestler mask, the band immediately broke out into their self-depreciating call to arms “Voodoo Anthem” which I couldn’t control myself very long and opened a pit that plenty of people were all the eager to join and continue throughout the night.
The band ripped through all of their classics with songs like The Band Geek Mafia and Charlie Brown getting the biggest responses of the night. They kept the songs on the heavier faster side as opposed to the slower ska numbers, but had plenty of people skanking when they did. Bringing out the totem pole and having their voodoo guy come out for the last song, it was a fun night over at Milkboy on a rainy Thursday. I wish they came out to the east coast more often, but with ska shows being so rare in general these days, I’ll take what I can get. If you get a chance catch Voodoo Glow Skulls live, do yourself a favor and do so.
Setlist: (From what I remember and not complete or in order)
El Coo Cooi
Land Of Misfit Toys (I think)
Shoot The Moon
Delinquent Song (I think)
The Band Geek Mafia