Darkbuster, Hub City Stompers Live In Asbury Park (8/5/15)

This past Wednesday I headed out to Asbury Lanes, my favorite punk rock bowling alley to catch Boston oi punk band Darkbuster play a reunion show.  I’ve never had a chance to see them before, the one time they came around before they broke up I went to go see the Bouncing Souls, so I was pretty pumped to finally catch them live after listening to them for years.

Unfortunately due to rush hour traffic and the long trek from Philadelphia, I missed NJ openers The Scandals I was hoping to see again, but made it in time to catch one of my favorite ska bands around Hub City Stompers.

Hub City Stompers:

I’ve seen Hub City Stompers countless times over the years (ok, maybe like 14 times) and they never fail to disappoint.  Playing the most tongue in cheek, angriest ska around nothing is safe with their irreverent songs poking fun at third wave ska, frat boys, hipsters, emo kids, and everything in between.

The band took the stage and opened with “Black Sheep”, with plenty of people singing along and skanking throughout the set.  The biggest reaction of their set had to be “Skins Don’t Cry”, their oi take on  The Cure’s “Boy’s Don’t Cry”.

Hub City Stompers always put on a solid performance and are one of the most consistent and active ska bands around in the tri-state area.  Definitely check them out if you haven’t yet.

Black Sheep
Skins Don’t Cry
Pants Music
Leave me The Fuck Alone
Latina Rose
Where’s My Hooligans



Recently reunited (well, maybe reunited isn’t the right word.  I didn’t realize it at the time but singer Lenny is the only original member of this tour) took the stage, and immediately broke into their call to arms “We Are Darkbuster” to an enthused crowd who’s waited way too long for the return of these bar anthems.

Following it up with “Pub”, Lenny announced they had Kevin Lenear from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones on tour with them playing the saxophone, which meant plenty of their ska songs.  I didn’t realize Darkbuster had a new album coming out, but they played a bunch off their upcoming release and from what I heard live it sounded pretty tight.

The band was a bit sloppy and Lenny apologized to the crowd for sounding so “rough”, but that didn’t deter or damper any of our fun as we danced and shouted along throughout their set.

A solid time, it was definitely awesome to be able to hear these songs I’ve been blasting and singing along to for all these year live.  Bonus points for the fact they played a bunch of their ska songs, which I wasn’t sure if they were going to do or not.  I didn’t buy it (or pick it up if you want a terrible ska pun) when I was there, but I’ll need to check out their new album soon.  If it’s anything like A Weakness for Spirits or 22 Songs You’ll Never Want To Hear Again, I’ll know exactly what to expect: rowdy, sloppy and most importantly fun sing along punk rock anthems.

Setlist (from what I remember, missing some and not in order)

We Are Darkbuster
Many Moons
Danny Boy
Shoulda Known Better
new song (Believe In Packer?)
London Town
Mo Town
Nothing At All
new song (Only Girl?)
Hometown Zero
Grandma Was A Nazi (crowd sang it to the drums)
Happy Days

Darkbuster – Rudy
Hub City Stompers – WTFIU?

Darkbuster – 22 Songs You’ll Never Want To Hear Again
Hub City Stompers – Blood Sweat And Beers
Hub City Stompers – Ska Ska Black Sheep

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