Mustard Plug - Live in San Diego (Cover Artwork)

Mustard Plug

Live in San Diego (2017)

live show

Mustard Plug and guests the Phenomenauts and the Oceanside Sound System skanked the Casbah on February 15th in San Diego. The Casbah is a fun dive bar with a good variety of shows near the San Diego airport, though airplanes frequently go roaring overhead. Beer is cheap and the bands are fun.

The show started with local act Oceanside Sound System, who are actually from Temecula in the desert but they go for a Sublime ska punk style so Oceanside probably sounded better as names go. They played solid ska punk and have an excellent guitarist who did some pretty epic solos. They did a cover of "The Crowd" by Operation Ivy that was pretty remarkable too.

Next up was The Phenomenauts, the B Movie space punk band. They play with elaborate lighting and fog effects and some red laser pointers thrown in. Their lyrics are mostly about topics like rivalry between Earth and Mars though you could find some political subtext in there if you like. There was a lot of audience participation from the pit dwellers too. The mix of surreal riffs and the band's astronaut costumes landed somewhere between Gwar and The Hives. The Phenomenauts are a pretty innovative band that deserves more attention.

Finally, the spicy main event, Mustard Plug was up. Mustard Plug is one of the longest lived of the original ska punk bands and they know how to put on a good show still. They played classics like "Brain on Ska," "Mister Smiley," "Not Enough" and "the Beer Song." There was a lot of drunken skanking going on, for the "Beer Song" in particular, since that's always their rousing closer. The band was generally loose int ehir playing, but it worked for them. They've been doing this so long that they are able to give themselves a little bit off room to work these songs out live. The result was that while these songs probably have been played thousands of times, they still sounded fresh live. Ska might be a well worm genre, but Mustard Plug know how to keep it fresh without forgetting why ska is what it is. So even if ska was dead, Mustard Plug could reanimate it with spicy toppings.