Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

Dicky Barrett
Ska music originated in Jamaica in the 1960s, but it reached a new audience when British punk rock bands in the 1970s applied its off-beat walking bass line to punk rock to create the "2 Tone" movement. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, formed in 1983 in Boston, Massachusetts, was among the "third wave" of ska and became and one of the first bands to popularize the genre in the musical mainstream with the platinum-selling 1997 album, Let’s Face It, and its hit single "The Impression That I Get." The band released seven studio albums, three EPs and a live album by the time it announced a hiatus in 2003. The band reunited in 2007. Lead vocalist Dicky Barrett, bassist Joe Gittleman, tenor saxophonist Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton and dancer Ben ("Bosstone") Carr have remained constant members; the current line-up also includes guitarist Lawrence Katz, keyboardist John Goetchius, drummer Joe Sirois, saxophonist Leon Silva, and trombonist Chris Rhodes. The band's ninth and most recent album is 2011's The Magic of Youth.

Tonight at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom, rather than wearing the band's trademark plaid uniform, the musicians wore matching suits that made them look like airline attendants. The band celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Let's Face It album by playing its 12 songs in order, but this was less than half the show. Barrett introduced the album closer, "1-2-8," by announcing that the band had only performed it live three times before that night, "and the fourth time’s the charm!" The band followed by performing another 16 songs from the rest of its catalog, concentrating especially on 2000's Pay Attention. The set was spirited and fun, with Barrett and Carr skanking along the front and the rest of the musicians behind them, all bouncing to the lively rhythms. Most of the set consisted of original tunes, except for the covers of the Wailers' "Simmer Down" and the Slickers' "Johnny Too Bad." Barrett implored the audience several times "Don't let live music die." The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the audience were very much alive.

Visit the Mighty Mighty Bosstones at www.bosstonesmusic.com.


Let’s Face It
  1. Noise Brigade
  2. The Rascal King
  3. Royal Oil
  4. The Impression That I Get
  5. Let's Face It
  6. That Bug Bit Me
  7. Another Drinkin' Song
  8. Numbered Days
  9. Break So Easily
  10. Nevermind Me
  11. Desensitized
  12. 1-2-8
  1. They Will Need Music
  2. Simmer Down (The Wailers cover)
  3. Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah
  4. Graffiti Worth Reading
  5. Someday I Suppose
  6. Everybody's Better
  7. You Left Right?
  8. Almost Anything Goes
  9. The Old School Off the Bright
  10. Devil's Night Out
  11. Don't Worry Desmond Dekker
  12. Johnny Too Bad (The Slickers cover)
  13. Open and Honest
  1. Where'd You Go?
  2. A Little Bit Ugly
  3. Dr. D