A ska show?? in Orlando?? what a crazy concept. We haven't been getting many of these shows lately and it's definetly good the see a band like Mustard Plug playing at the Social in Orlando, Florida. The small (but not closet) sized venue was about half full, a suprise considering Mustard Plug havent been here for about 2 years and there were great opening bands.
Starting off the night was The Know How,from Gainesville, a hope for the Florida music scene. This 7-piece had an uplifting ska sound that caught my interest from the very first song. Instantly I thought of the Hippos because they had a keyboardist in the group. Some of their songs reminded me of the Hippos from the "heads are gonna roll" album; very catchy, upbeat, fast, and made people start dancing. They sounded good, had lots of energy, and got the crowd moving, important elements for any band, espcially an opener.
Next up were punk rockers Whippersnapper. They asked the crowd if they were ready for the first non-ska band of the night, and no one really responded. Once they started playing there was no doubt they were a good band for this bill. They had a mix of straight up fast, crashing, 3 chord punk; with some melodic riffs and vocals here and there. The crowd overall also got into their set. so far in the night no one had yelled "you suck!" to any of the bands, when i looked around everyone seemed to be having fun and enjoying the music. So yes, another good opening band.
And now we have Allister. My memory is weak but i remember hearing them on an older Drive-Thru comp so i figured i would enjoy their *gasp* catchy punk show. I wont say the dreaded pop-punk term when referring to them because it doesnt seem right. Their songs were fast and tight and believe me, they were catchy, even had me dancing a bit. Strong vocals from both singers really drove this band, and again, the fact that they seemed to be having fun on stage. They played the song "jacob" about a male admirer and a song about how all their corperate sell-out friends back home suck. The last song they invited whoever knew the words to come on stage and sing-along, most the people up there looked like were having the time of thier life.
da-dum-dum....we now have Mustard Plug!! i was right up front and sang along as the lead singer, Dave, repeatedly put the mic into the crowd. These guys are amazing musicians and performers, dancing and smiling the whole time without (from what i heard) a mistake. right before playing "you want it, we got it" they comment that they have been around for 11 years and are still ska, which is what that song is about. Besides doing what was on the set list (see below) they also took requests and did "Mendoza" and "Mr. Smiley" about a homicidal maniac in which Dave took a plastic butcher knife out of his belt loop and had fun with the people in the front. For the last song the stage was flooded with people singing along, which was a good end to the night. There was a good mix of songs from thier last 3 albumsand the set was about an hour, but still, it wasn't enough. To try and sum up the show in a few words i would have to say:skankin', smiling faces and good music.
I got my dirty lil' hands on a set list so here ya go...
in your face
someday, right now
you want it, we got it
throw a bomb
just a minute
no one but myself
thigh high nylons
*crowd requested Mendoza and Mr. Smiley were thrown in too
last but not least...