Posts Tagged ‘February 2013’

Mustard Plug performing Beer (Song) at Dipiazzas in Long Beach, CA. Filmed on February 28, 2013.

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Mustard Plug performing Skank By Numbers at Dipiazzas in Long Beach, CA. Filmed on February 28, 2013.

Just Like Before performing Las Payasas Me Quieren Cojer at Dipiazzas in Long Beach, CA. Filmed on February 28, 2013.

The Interrupters performing Family at Dipiazzas in Long Beach, CA. Filmed on February 28, 2013.

JFA performing Beach Blanket Bongout at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on February 22, 2013.

JFA performing Johnny D at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on February 22, 2013.

D.O.A. performing Police Brutality at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on February 1, 2013.

D.O.A. performing World War 3 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on February 1, 2013.

Amerikan Made performing Quit Being A Pussy at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on February 1, 2013.

Last Thursday night, Long Beach experienced a night of ska, as Mustard Plug headlined a show at Dipiazzas as part of their west coast tour with Los Kung Fu Monkeys. Mustard Plug rarely travels out here to the west coast, so their trip pleased many of their fans out here. A major player in the ska revival era, Mustard Plug churns out ska-punk music mainly from their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Add to that all the the other amazing bands they rounded up for their tour, and you have the makings of a mobile wave of ska.

The Interrupters kicked off the night with their ska set. With a sound resembling Save Ferris, The Interrupters played much more mellow than the ska/punk music that followed them the rest of the night. They emphasized having fun and enjoying the night rather than getting rowdy. In the middle of their set, the band invited the father of the brothers (in white shirts) to play trombone for one of their Bob Marley covers. Especially for an all-ages show, Mustard Plug chose a perfect band to open the night. If you miss Save Ferris, you owe it to yourself to check out The Interrupters very soon.

Moving forward with the night, Operation No-one Knows (ONK) played their set of Mexican-influenced ska. Their set started mellow, but included some faster songs that got the crowd going hard. They also tended to cover a handful of popular songs, especially by Sublime. As one of the opening bands, their set did not last very long, which means they did not play as many original songs as they could have, as opposed to the cover songs they played.

Reuniting for one final show before throwing in the towel, Just Like Before took to the stage next. This skacore band from South Bay started small over a decade ago, but grew in popularity so fast that they found themselves already on the Warped Tour by 2004. Singing many of their songs in Spanish, JLB appeals to multiple audiences with their mix of songs, including a ska version of the Inspector Gadget theme, and the very vulgar Las Payasas. Close to the end of their set, another man carrying a guitar showed up on stage to do vocals for a song. I had a feeling he belonged to the following band, and I found out later that I guessed right. They closed their set with It’s A Circle, and when they noticed me singing along, they handed the mic to me so I could help sing the chorus. Totally rad! After discovering them back in 2004, I will miss these guys, as they show no signs of lost skill.

Another band I discovered in 2004, Matamoska played next, indicated by the vocalist entering the stage during the previous band. Another great skacore band from Los Angeles, Matamoska played a high-intensity set, complete with songs such as Night of 100 Frights, and an encore with De Verdad. The sound guy tried to get them to end early, but Matamoska held strong and kept playing all the way to the end of their set.

The sub-headliner, Los Kung Fu Monkeys, entered the stage after Matamoska. I discovered them back in 2006, when they played to a ghetto ska/punk style. Now they sound like they still represent that sound, but a lot more refined after years of touring and practice. The skacore band from Tijuana played many of their old hits, such as Short Fuse, as well as tracks from their latest album. A good portion of the crowd showed up only to see them, as many of them left after Los Kung Fu Monkeys had ended. All the better for me, as I knew that Mustard Plug would go next.

At long last, Mustard Plug entered the room and decked out the stage. As one of today’s most prominent ska-punk bands, anyone listening to ska and/or punk rock today has definitely heard of Mustard Plug. Conversely, playing at such a small venue surprised me, as I believe they deserve a grander stage. Their one-hour set consisted of twenty songs, which included hits like Lolita, You, Mr. Smiley, Brain on Ska, and finally closing the night with Beer. Their set even included a cover of Fugazi’s hit Waiting Room. A small venue does not allow much room for interactivity, yet during Mr. Smiley, vocalist Dave Kirchgessner reenacted the namesake character by “attacking” audience members with a foam knife.

Miss out on Mustard Plug? They rarely come out here to the west coast, so it may take some time before seeing them again live without flying out to Michigan. Plenty of other great punk rock and/or ska shows still take place in Southern California, so check my blog weekly for upcoming shows and events!