The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Pietasters live in Philly (7/28/17)

I had a bit of a dilemma the other day.  Since I’m apparently a fucking moron I bought tickets to two different shows on the same day, not realizing I already bought tickets for a different show.  Because of this, I was faced with a huge existentialist crisis… do I go see Western Addiction (who I completely love) play with Dark Thoughts and Night Birds at Boot and Saddle, or do I catch The Mighty Mighty Bosstones with The Pietasters at Union Transfer?

Assuming you clearly know how to read, you already know what I decided by the title (unless you browsed here by mistake looking up housewives porn, which apparently does happen…) but since The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were playing Let’s Face It in its entirety, I opted to go see them as that album was the first ska album I ever owned before I really even knew what ska was (I just knew I liked it), and was arguably the album that got me into the genre to begin with 20 years ago.


The Pietasters:

I just caught DC’s ska/soul/rock band The Pietasters just a couple of months ago at Punk Rock Bowling, but I was excited to catch them again because this time around they were playing their 3rd album Willis in its entirety to celebrate the record’s 20th anniversary, and Willis is by far The Pietasters album I know the best.

The 8 piece took the stage and opened up with Willis soul opener “Crazy Monkey Women”, and while a few were singing along, it wasn’t until they followed it up with the more traditional ska number “Out All Night” before the place had plenty of people skanking throughout the crowd.  Skipping the song “Ocean” (which they would perform with the Bosstones during their set).  The Pietasters sounded cohesive and spirited as they played through the rest of the album.  Once they finished up, they followed it up with “Girl Take It Easy” and “Maggie Mae”.

Crazy Monkey Woman
Out All Night
Fat Sack
Stone Feeling
Time Won’t Let Me
Without You
New Breed
Girl Take It Easy

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones:
Riding high the wave of ska’s short-lived mainstream popularity during that short blip in the 90s, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Let’s Face It is one of the most successful 3rd wave ska albums commercially, certified platinum selling over 1 million copies.  But with a sold out Union Transfer and the enthusiasm of the crowd, you would think that ska was still in its peak here in 2017.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones took the stage decked out in matching white suits with black print that I’m pretty sure they got from Jimmy Kimmel Live (and honestly, if I had a suit like that I’d probably wear it every damn day, and I hate wearing suits… I know I just lost like 3 ska points for hating suits).  With an incredibly quick introduction, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones wasted no time before kicked things off with Let’s Face It opener “Noise Brigade” as the place broke out into a room full of people skanking and singing along.

Video by Joe Kaminsky

Dicky Barrett and company sounded tight as ever as they ripped through the album, and I sort of expected them to skip over their hit “The Impression That I Get” until the end, they announced that they always like doing this one early in the show, so any people who came just for that song could leave and not wait all night.

Video by Jason Hoffman

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones still have an incredibly solid stage presence, and I have to give credit to Ben Carr, their tour manager but most famously known for skanking throughout their entire set every night… dude has more stamina than anyone in the crowd who is just half or even a quarter of his age.

After the band was done with Let’s Face It, they played a bunch from their other albums and had The Pietasters come back on stage to do a few, including their song “Ocean”.  A fun show, it was great to finally hear all the songs I’ve blasted so many years in its entirety and the songs that got me to first fall in love with the genre 20 years ago.  As Mr. Peanutbutter says,

Noise Brigade
Rascal King
Royal Oil
The Impression That I Get
Let’s Face It
That Bug Bit Me
Another Drinkin’ Song
Numbered Days
Break So Easily
Nevermind Me
Everybody’s Better
Sunday Afternoons On Wisdom Ave
Someday I Suppose
Dr. D
Wrong Thing Right Then
Simmer Down
Kinder Words
Hell Of A Hat
Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah
Don’t Worry Desmond Dekker
What The World Needs Is Love
A Little Bit Ugly
Where’d You Go
Devil’s Night Out
They Will Need Music

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