Mustard Plug Wraps up a Brief West Coast Tour with a Long Beach Show

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Events, Long Beach, Music, Punk Rock, Ska
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Welcome to the start of Q2 – the quarter that throws things into place. Business builds up during this time, and with it, plenty of events and shows come up in preparation for the busy eventful summer. Southern Californians got a taste of that last week, as Mustard Plug traveled to the west coast for a brief tour, ending at Dipiazza’s in Long Beach. Mustard Plug rarely plays shows outside of their home state of Michigan, so whenever they travel, the locals make it a priority to travel to their show. This particular final show of the mini west coast tour featured a slew of other great local bands as well.

Opening the night, we catch a glimpse of The Last Gang, with rock star Brenna Red at the forefront. I have not seen Brenna in action in almost two years, so seeing her in this new band felt refreshing. Their bio claims that they play punk rock, but at this show, they sounded more like hardcore with a hint of pop, almost as if Civet met The Bombpops. They have an active show schedule around Southern California, so check them out when they play at a show near you.

Up next, we get to The Pocketeers. Making up for the show I missed them at two weeks ago, I finally get to see these kids perform up close. I call them kids not as an insult, but seriously: look how young they appear. Anyways, upon listening to their set, they bear a strong resemblance to Do It With Malice. The Pocketeers play a solid skacore sound with instrumentals and catchy lyrics that will stick in your head for weeks. They play so hard that their guitarist cut open his fingers during the middle of their set. If you want to dance while slamming into people, The Pocketeers will feed your ears with the right stuff.

Another Orange County skacore band, Not A Chance, came up next. Since the last show I saw them at last year, their sound has not altered much – they still sound like the early days of Against All Authority. Their set list now includes a few new songs, but for the most part, they played the same set list, which also includes a cover of Bad Touch. Regardless, a Not A Chance show also lends for a good time, as seen by the very little kids (looked under 10) dancing to the music, in lieu of a circle pit. Why make this an all-ages show if the very little ones cannot enjoy it?

Playing right in the middle of the night, we have Isolated Victims. Much like Not A Chance, I also have not seen these guys in almost a year. They opened up their set strong and fast, stirring up a pit within the first minute. They did not start with their trumpet player on stage – he jumped on for the few songs that required his presence. Isolated Victims played a solid set that kept the fans on their feet and moving the entire time.

The Los Angeles skacore bands continued with La Pobreska. For a band that started within the past decade, La Pobreska sure has a huge following. They performed a balance of English and Spanish songs during their set, all while juggling the few in the audience yelling out blurbs between songs. Something about their performance gives them a professional look about them, as if they have performed on bigger stages for a long time now. This makes me want to see more of them soon.

After a setup time lasting twice as long as the previous bands, Left Alone got started as the night’s sub-headliner. As one of the more well-known ska-punk bands from the South Bay, Left Alone drew a huge crowd of fans and troublemakers. Of course, what kind of punk show does not have troublemakers? This pit contained guys purposely seeking to tackle other people, and it even escalated to one guy getting thrown out of the venue. The nature of the music causes that, yet Left Alone simply plays their music fast and fun. In fact, they even utilize an organ and a slap bass to mix up genres. Their set contained a handful of classic songs, and they ended their set with the crowd favorite, Dead Red Roses.

It all came full circle, as Mustard Plug returned to play at Dipiazza’s, just like they did last year. Playing a rather packed set list, Mustard Plug ensured to play lots of fan favorites, playing nearly every recognizable song amongst all the fans present. The crowd must have spent all of their energy during Left Alone, as Mustard Plug did not get much of a pit during their set. With the exception of the first few songs, the crowd remained fairly docile the entire time. As for their set list, they made a few changes from what I saw: “Shakin” = Mendoza, and they did not play anything with Vodka in it, moving straight from Life Is Too Short to Thigh High Nylons. Where last year they covered Waiting Room, Mustard Plug covered Roots Radicals this time. The rest of the set list included tons of known songs, such as Skank By Numbers, Mr. Smiley, Brain On Ska, Lolita, and ending the set with Beer Song.

Miss out on Mustard Plug? They may return to the west coast by next year, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates. In fact, give a Like to the Facebook pages of all the bands that performed at this show. They all did a great job, and deserve a great turnout at their next shows.

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