Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Mephiskafeles, Continental- Hometown Throwdown 16 - Night #1

Night one came and went fast like a lightening bolt.  The anticipation leading up to the 16th Annual Hometown Throwdown was a heavy one with the Street Dogs in town the weekend prior, the fun for the Boston punk rock community was not quite over.  To start the night off, Rick Barton's (EX-Dropkick Murphys) Continental was the first on stage.  This band plays no frills, straight up rock and roll which make themselves extremely accessible to the music scene of all sorts.  Continental played plenty of familiar songs off of their current full length, "All A Man Can Do" including "Curious Spell", the working class anthem, "Dogfight", and "Downtown Lounge".  The band also covered Dropkick Murphy's, "The Torch" where Rick as always says this song is about "…the person we never want to become".   Respectably enough, Barton paid homage to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and recognized the legendary Boston On The Road tour they started in the mid-ninties which featured the Dropkick Murphys.  After all, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones are the reason why band's like the Murphys carry the torch and help the band behind them.

Up next were Mephiskafeles from New York City.  I can't say I was familiar with the band but I was told recently that "…They were the Bosstones before the Bosstones!" which proved to be evident as their sound clearly helped to shape the Mighty Mighty Bosstones sound.  It's always entertaining to see bands who have been around for years play with the level of intensity, and energy as they do.  It is clear that they are in it for the right reasons and not the business aspect when they come out, play their hardest and then walk through the crowd to mingle with their fans when they are finished.  The potential influence that this band paved way for the Bosstones was obvious.  They seemed to play the same or similar recipe of the combination of punk rock, hardcore, and good old fashioned ska. The foundation was certainly made for bands to follow.

Last but not least, Boston's almighty, Mighty Mighty Bosstones were up next to the bring the heat.  Around nine o'clock, the lights dimmed and the intro music came on.  Soon enough, the boys in plaid (or tuxedos rather), ran out on stage and kicked into "This Time Of Year" amidst the Christmas lights laid upon the back drop, and along the mezzanine level of the House Of Blues.  The first jingle went straight to the second yet with a curve ball which was "I Know More" (First time performed since 2001).  The set featured a few songs that they haven't performed dating back to 1991.  Songs such as "Shit Out Of Luck", "Katie" and the night's closer, "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love" by Van Halen were the height of the performance for many of the die hards.  As entertaining it was to listen to these songs, I personally felt the band did not give as much energy as they should have, especially on the opening.  On the other hand, they still had a great performance.
Roughly mid-set, the 'Tones covered the Clash's, "Rudy Can't Fail" which is always a crowd pleaser, and not to mention, "They Came To Boston", "Wrong Thing, Right Then", and many more.  The main set ended with, "A Little Bit Ugly" while the encore included, "The Bricklayer's Story", "737/Shoe Glue" and closed with Van Halen's, "Ain't Talkin' About Love".  Overall, the band played a great show yet their energy would have improved their overall presence in the room.  For those who have made it tradition to go all three nights, the anticipation awaited for what the Mighty Mighty Bosstones may deliver for nights two and three!


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