Live Concert Review

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Flatliners

Live (Aug. 23rd, 2010)

The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA
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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones made their return to Philadelphia after an eight-year absence on Monday, August 23rd. They were to play the prestigious Trocadero, right in the heart of Philly.

The Troc, as it is referred to by many, is an old theatre converted into a concert venue. It’s a small room with a balcony level, and two big points to complain about-the stage is way too high and the barricade is too far out from the stage. Sadly, this made it impossible for Dicky Barrett, the Bosstones’ vocalist, to pass the microphone out to the crowd during their songs.

The first band to hit the stage was the Flatliners, from Toronto. They played an energetic set of uptempo ska-punk. In their 35 minutes, they managed to vary their set up a lot. They included many new songs from Cavalcade, their 2010 release on Fat Wreck Chords. But they didn’t leave out their older material, also playing songs off their first full length, Destroy to Create. This reviewer, while not overly familiar with their material, really enjoyed their high-energy set. The Flatliners are definitely a band to look out for in the future.

Next up was another Fat Wreck band, Teenage Bottlerocket. If you’re a Ramones fan, this band is definitely for you. If you’re not[like this reviewer], they’re not. They’re very nice guys, but they sounded like a carbon copy of the Ramones, with a little more technical instrumentation. I did enjoy their first song, “Skate or Die,” which came from their Fat Wreck debut album, They Came From the Shadows, which was released in 2009. The highlight of their set was definitely when they called Chris from the Flatliners up to play guitar on a song, which their drummer sang. The song, apparently a cover, was about burritos. Brandon, their drummer, made an excellent front man, jumping all around the stage for his minute and a half to shine.

After a 40 minute set from Teenage Bottlerocket, the band got their gear off stage and the crew for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones started to set up. At 9:30PM, the lights went down and the band’s entrance music went on.

When the lights flared on, the band excitedly ran onto the stage to rousing cheers and applause, with Barrett getting the audience to scream before Joe Gittleman yelled “What are these noises!?” and the band kicked into their classic Dr. D from “More Noise & Other Distrubances.”

The Bosstones assaulted Philly with hit after hit, mixing new and old, classics and b-sides. Philly was treated to a few new songs off the band’s 2009 release, “Pin Points & Gin Joints”, such as Graffiti Worth Readingand Too Many Stars. The fans also got treated to cuts from deeper in the Bosstonescatalogue, such as Pictures to Prove It from 1994’s “Question the Answers” and Nevermind Me from their landmark 1997 “Let’s Face It”.

The band was in top form, with Barrett growling and belting out his lyrics with emotion unrivaled in the world of vocalists. The fans screamed back the words with that same fiery passion, especially on classic songs like Holy Smokeand Someday I Suppose. Ben Carr, the Bosstone, was all over the stage, dancing up a storm, sometimes with Barrett joining him in dancing. Trombonist Chris Rhodes was an entertaining figure to watch, as always, especially on You Gotta Go!,where he belted out the bridge in fine form, wailing and yelling in a style very different from the recorded version.

The band closed their main set with their hit The Impression That I Get, going right into their traditional end of show cover of Lights Out, originally by the Angry Samoans.
After a minute of the crowd enthusiastically chanting MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSS-TONES, the band took the stage for an encore, opening with A Pretty Sad Excuse, a 6 minute song found on the end of their most recent 2009 release. They followed it up with Devil’s Night Outthe title track off of their 1990 debut full-length, capping an epic return to Philly for the plaid boys of Boston, leaving the crowd wishing they’d come back and do one more.

Setlist:
Dr. D
Graffiti Worth Reading
Rascal King
You Gotta Go
Pictures to Prove It
Desmond Dekker
Nevermind Me
Someday I Suppose
Wasted Summers
Another Drinking Song
Sugar Free
The One With The Woes
Wallet
Sad Silence
Royal Oil
Too Many Stars
Allow Them
Hell of a Hat
Na Na Na Na
Holy Smoke
Impression
Lights Out
Encore:
A Pretty Sad Excuse
Devil’s Night Out