The Pietasters / Skanktronics / Rude Staff Checkers

The Pietasters/Skanktronics/Rude Staff Checkers: live in Clevelandlive in Cleveland (2002)
Fueled By Ramen Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: FuzzyFuzzy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ahhh...Ska. If you don't like it, just stop reading this now, because this is a review of a Ska show. Anyways. Pietasters at the Grog Shop. Hmm...one of my favorite bands of all time at one of the coolest venues in Ohio. Sounds like a good mix. So six of us piled into my friend Dan's van "Tho.

Ahhh...Ska. If you don't like it, just stop reading this now, because this is a review of a Ska show. Anyways.

Pietasters at the Grog Shop. Hmm...one of my favorite bands of all time at one of the coolest venues in Ohio. Sounds like a good mix. So six of us piled into my friend Dan's van "Thor" and we began the journey. We get there, knowing the show won't start until 9, we get there early and have some Subway sandwiches and walk around Coventry, a fairly cool street in Cleveland Heights.

It reaches the fateful hour, and we begin piling in. 10 bucks for us old timers (21 ), and 12 bucks for the younger kids. Nice pricing, I thought. So we get in, and immediately I feel fucking OLD. But that's ok, I know that at most shows now I am feeling' a little crotchety at my "ripe old age" of 21.

The first band takes the stage. They were a 7 piece from Cleveland Heights High School called The Rude Staff Checkers. They were really good. Sound-wise, imagine a Five Iron Frenzy/Planet Smashers-esque sound, with attempts at some Reel Big Fish type antics. My only complaints with this band:

1.The baritone player CAN'T dance, and he should settle down.

2.The drummer needed to stay behind the drum set.

3.They never should have written or played "After school" cause they'll be kicking themselves later on in life.

Aside from that, they were REALLY fun, lots of dancing, skanking, and floor shaking. They played a little long, but they were recording it, and obviously wanted to get all they could onto the tape.

Next up were the Skanktronics. These kids showed some good Op Ivy ska-punk promise. And they delivered. I have since downloaded their mp3s from their Website, and they are a quality band. Another group of High School kiddies, and they definitely had their sound down. Fun punk/ska leanings, the only problem was probably that they were not nearly as tight as the RSC, and the sound was a little low on one of the mics.

However, at this point in time I have to mention the biggest downside of the show. Because it was two HS bands opening, their friends came. And god love them for supporting their friends. But if I get another Skinhead or Exploited-esque punk slamming in the pit to SKA music, I am going to go crazy. You dance, you have fun, you don't try to beat the hell out of everyone. You can't possibly be that angry in real life, just get over it.


And now, the Pietasters.

When I got into the club at the beginning of the night, I noticed a bald, ear pierced man that I swore was someone I knew. Well, when they took the stage I was right. Vinnie (fucking) Nobile from the Pilfers, Bim Skala Bim, and just recently filling in for Buddy from Less Than Jake was taking Jeremy's spot for the night. Stephen said something about Jeremy not being there...I couldn't really understand it, but all I know is that the best Ska trombonist ever to walk the planet was 3 feet away from me, and I was in pure ecstasy. They rocked through a throughly amazing set. Touching mostly on stuff from OoLooLoo, Mix tape 6 and Turbo (new out on Fueled By Ramen). Absent were many (if any) songs from Willis, their Hell Cat debut, which changed their style a bit. I don't know why this is, maybe it has to do with the passing away of their original bassist Todd, but I don't know, and it's neither here nor there.

What's important is that it was an amazing show. From their entrance to that new Ludicrous song (gotta big green stash...) to their encore of Girl Take it Easy, Wasted and a few others, it was one of the best performances I've ever seen. I heartily endorse anyone anywhere going to see these Tasters of Pie when they are around. And the two opening bands should be watched as well. They managed to even get my Metal Lovin' friend enjoying the show.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Houser6 (November 12, 2010)

This is the drummer from Rude Staff Checkers and I personally wrote the song "After Skool". Yes, we spelled it with a K...I am still waiting to regret this song later in life. In the mean time, we will be opening with it (right after YMCA) for our 4th upcoming reunion show December 29. 2010 when we take the stage with Mustard Plug and Deals Gone Bad. This is at the newer Grog Shop up the street. Miss that old one we played with the Pietasters. I also miss drinking in the back of an SUV with the Skanktronics before shows at the Pit Cleveland.

By the way, does Cleveland even still have a ska scene? If anyone from BCRC, Sax-o-tromba or Katty Whompus is reading this, hit me up!!!

Anonymous (September 16, 2002)

The best ska trombonist to ever walk the planet was Don Drummond, of the Skatalites, who was playing ska when before Vinnie was born. Vinnie rocks, and I'm sorry to shit on you, but anyone who compares a band's performance favorably to the Planet Smashers needs a little ribbing


Anonymous (September 15, 2002)

To the two people that said the RSC sucked when they saw them...

They're a high school band. According to you, it was also a year and a half ago. That leaves a lot of time for growth, especially for a band that apparently has such young members. Maybe they don't suck anymore. Or maybe they still do. I don't know, i've never seen them.

AdamVMS (September 13, 2002)

Why would that even be an attack on anyone in OH? I think the state is a pit, but there are much worse places out there (Louisiana is far worse I assure you).

If you like Ohio stay there.

If for example you are in DC come to the Pietasters show saturday.

If you are a dick and you want to belittle someone else because they dislike a state then (A) Grow up and (B) Get over yourself

It's not as if I dislike the state and the club b/c I drove through there once. I grew up there and after spending the first 18 years of my life there decided it wasn't for me.

As far as the Grog Shop being a cool place... (to the comment below)... I guess it is/was OK, but when you compare it to the Euc it really doesn't stack up. Hell I preferred the Peabodies to the grog shop (and peabodies was a dive)

Fuzzy (September 13, 2002)

the Grog Shop rocks, I don't what the hell is wrong with you! You are quite possibly the only person I've ever heard speak against it actually. Everyone else I talk to seems to love it, and we are all very sad it's moving soon.

sockk (September 12, 2002)

oh dear, a guy who runs a really minor indie doesn't like the state i live in, MY ENTIRE SELF ESTEEM HAS BEEN RUN OVER BY A VERITIBLE STEAMROLLER OF INFLUENCE.

Anonymous (September 12, 2002)

I also saw the checkers play with Len Lew a long time ago. They sucked a Total D.

Also it sucks a D that the Euc is no longer around. All the cool places are closing in Cleveland and the Grog is slated to be gone next year so some CEO fag can build apartments.

Fuck all yall


AdamVMS (September 12, 2002)

The grog shop is far from one of the coolest venues in OH... I remember going there when I lived in that hellhole of a state and it always blew..

Does anyone remember the Pilfers/Spring Heeled Jack show at the Grog Shop back when ska was popular?

They need to bring back the Euc

Fuck Ohio

Fuzzy (September 11, 2002)

Vinnie is so amazing. I've seen him perform 3 times now...with the Pilfers, LTJ, and this show...
I am just blown away...

WussEmoRock (September 11, 2002)

good review, and the guy who took the spot for buddy and one of the guys in the pietasters is awesome, amazing stage presence and just plain fun to watch. saw him in pomona with less than jake, this show here sounded really fun and I knwo what you mean,no one can really be that angry, sheesh.


Anonymous (September 10, 2002)

The Rude Staff Checkers are fucking AWFUL! I saw them play at the Euclid Tavern when it was still open maybe a year and a half ago, opening for a sweet local band, Len Lew. They were the most boring, contrived bullshit I've ever watched. Could they have wanted to impress their parents much more with their sycophantic use of vulgarity? No. Piss-poor, weak bullshit...I can't believe they expect anyone to take them seriously. If any member of the Rude Staff Checkers is reading this, disband now!

eyeball_kid (September 10, 2002)

Sounds like my kinda show and all, but I am always a bit weary of ska bands that have 'skank' or 'ska' in their name. Is that stupid?

Anonymous (September 10, 2002)

Great review, I wish I could have been at that show skankin for the Pietasters! Hopefully they will come to Ottawa sometime

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