My ancestral homeland New Jersey, one of the few places in the US where ska is still big. As has become an occasional tradition at this point (went back in 2008 and 2013), I headed out to a packed Starland Ballroom to see some of my favorite ska-punk bands around play “Skanksgiving”… because is it REALLY 3rd wave ska without a ska pun?
I was pumped for the show as I’ve been listening to all these guys for nearly 18 years now, and it was going to take all my self control to not skank (concussions are just so much fun you guys!). I got there right in time to see Mustard Plug.
It’s only been a year since I last saw Mustard Plug, but it feels like so much longer than that. Easily one of my favorite ska bands around, I wasn’t alone considering they took the stage to a roaring applause, and immediately opened with their classic “Skank By Numbers” as their mustard mascot skanked alongside them on stage. The place was moving and singing along immediately, and everyone having a good time.
Even though Can’t Contain It is Mustard Plug’s latest album the band decided to forgo any songs off of the 2014 release, instead opting to play their more popular songs in their discography (which was pretty appropriate for the theme of the night). Vocalist Dave mostly kept things light hearted but did take time to slam the election results and Trump, and stating ‘how not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, and how a lot of good people voted for Trump… but every racist did vote for Trump’ before playing their anti-racism song “You Can’t Go Back”.
Closing their set with their call to arms “Beer (Song)”, Mustard Plug left the stage with what felt way too soon. Alway a fun show, go see them if you get a chance.
Skank By Numbers
Hit Me Hit Me
Time To Wake Up
You Can’t Go Back
Brain On Ska
Big D And The Kids Table:
I used to be obsessed with Big D And The Kids Table, rocking a wristband with their logo on it everywhere I went for years (and I’m really regretting NOT buying that Big D umbrella they were selling at the 2003 Warped Tour now). While the band may have lost a lot of fans (including me) with their change in direction during their Fluent In Stroll years, they’ve since returned to form with both “The Damned, The Dumb, And The Delirious” and “Stomp” while simultaneously releasing Stroll for those who dug the changes. I haven’t seen them since the last Skanksgiving in 2013, and was incredibly excited to catch them again.
Big D And The Kids Table kicked things off with their crowd favorite L.A.X with David McWane and crew jumping all around the stage, proving that they haven’t lost an ounce of energy over the years. The band kept this energy throughout their entire set, ripping through a number of classic ska-punk songs spanning from their Good Luck days through Stomp.
I miss the days of where I’d see them come around multiple times a year (often with The Arrogant Sons of Bitches). Hoping they play a Philly show sometime soon.
Girls Against Drunk Bitches
My Girlfriend’s On Drugs
Less Than Jake
Gainesville Florida’s Less Than Jake has been arguably one of the most influential 3rd wave ska-punk bands around. While The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Let’s Face It was my first ska album, Less Than Jake’s Hello Rockview was the album that made me fall in love with the genre back in the late 90s when it came out. I played that album all the time, whether it was the CD, or the cassette I made from the CD so I could listen to it in my walkman while I waited for my school bus.
Luckily for me, Less Than Jake was playing Hello Rockview in it’s entirety tonight once again. Taking the stage to a roar of people screaming “Last one out of Liberty City, burn it to the ground!” Less Than Jake ripped into the set while launching toilet paper, balloons, and confetti at the crowd.
They played through their classics, putting on a hell of an entertaining and energetic show while goofing around bringing a drunk crying girl on stage to skank, making a security guard go on stage and requesting him to dance during Scott Farcas Takes It On The Chin, joking about how they were rated in the top 100 least attractive bands, and provided some commentary about the songs (I can’t remember which song it was, I want to say Big Crash or Danny Says, but they said this is the least requested song, and they can’t remember a single time anyone has ever requested it at a show while Scott Farcas is always requested).
I’m lucky that I got to see Less Than Jake play Hello Rockview live once again, and as always they were incredible live. 18 years later and Less Than Jake is still killing it.
Last One Out Of Liberty City
Help Save The Youth Of America From Exploding
All My Best Friends Are Metal Heads
Five State Drive
Nervous In The Alley
History Of A Boring TownGreat American Sharpshooter
Theme For H Street
Richard Allen George… No It’s Just Cheez
Scott Farcas Takes It On The Chin
The Rest Of My Life
The Ghost Of Me And You
Look What Happened
The Science Of Selling Yourself Short
Plastic Cup Politics