The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are a fierce Boston ska outfit with songs familiar to anyone who listened to the radio in the late ’90s. This large and diverse group of musicians recently visited San Diego’s House of Blues and played a packed holiday show full of their classic hits. They also brought with them a much newer punk/ska act, The Interrupters, who recently released their debut album on Epitaph sub-label Hellcat Records.
Protégés of Rancid guitarist and Hellcat owner Tim Armstrong, The Interrupters brought a ton of fun energy to their opening set. Highlights included the single “Family,” which elicited a surprising singalong from the crowd. The guitar skills of the talented Kevin Bivona (who is also a touring keyboardist for The Transplants) were truly impressive. Drummer Jesse Bivona provided fun ska beats and punk blasts throughout the set while also contributing great background vocal effects. The band’s energetic performance was a fun primer for the evening’s main entertainment.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have aged well, like a fine spirit trapped somewhere in a Boston barrel. Frontman Dicky Barrett was a fierce frontman with an awesome swagger to his singing. The “Boss Tone” himself, dancer/hype man Ben Carr, whipped the large crowd into a frenzy with his crazy stage moves.
The Bosstones played many songs from their 1997 platinum album Let’s Face It, and the crowd’s singing on “The Impression That I Get” threatened to drown out the band. Just feeling the energy of that powerful horn section and the rocking of a tight veteran group like this was a special experience. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are a great band to see live — they have a ton of fun songs and ’90s nostalgia abounds.