Holy Toledo! What a night at the Fillmore!
Emily set this one up, and it was just the two of us who went. How cool is that? Very cool.
The Interrupters were in town, bringing their California ska/punk act to the stage. How fun is that? Very fun.
Oh, and yes, I scored a free parking spot right on Columbus Avenue about 100 feet from the damn club. How good of an omen was that? Very good.
Because the Interrupters brought two warmup bands, both of which turned out to be keepers. First up was Sharp Shock:
Sharp Shock, an LA punk trio that reaches back to influential punk bands from the 80s and 90s to craft their own punk tunes was up first. We walked in and the show had just started. There they were, up on stage and blazing through the Damned’s Neat Neat Neat, a very choice song to start off the evening.
The lead guitarist, playing a cherry red Rickenbacker, was effusive and cool, giving quick and funny intros to their tunes and then the band ripped into them. I didn’t know their music, but it was above-average punk. And near the end of the show, they did the Pete Shelley homage, and did a very nice cover of the Buzzcocks Ever Fallen in Love. And there I was, not knowing anything about this band 30 minutes before, but singing along and remembering the times I had seen the Buzzcocks crank this tune. RIP, Mr. Shelley! So we were off to a fine start.
Up next was Skinny Lister, a London punk/folk outfit. Say what? You got it right. Combine the Pogues, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Frank Turner, the Decemberists, and a bunch of other bands and you get a sense of this outfit. Think punky and rollicking, jug-band-meets-jig-and-reel-meets-traditional-sea-chanties and that’s them.
I’m not going to lie to you, they were great. In fact, they are now on the BRP list of super fun live bands that I am going to drag all of my friends (not hard, I don’t have any) to see the next time they roll into Philly. Heck, they’re worth climbing on a plane and flying to London to see. Any band that has a crazy accordion player right up front, and where the dude playing the stand-up bass is swinging it over his head, while the most fun female lead singer you’ve ever seen bops around stage - all while pregnant - has got to have their act together. I loved them. I’ve been listening to them on Spotify ever since.
Listen to this tune and then check out the many pictures I have of Skinny Lister:
Phew, I need to catch my breath.
OK, I’m better now. Skinny Lister leaves the stage, and I’m thinking, how good can the Interrupters be to top THAT? Well, they didn’t top them, but the Interrupters were fantastic.
The crowd was super eclectic, including multiple little kids (I’m talking like 7 and 8 year olds, including one with a homemade "I'm Your Number One Fan" t-shirt) out late on school night, old-school punkers (including a guy sporting a huge multi-colored Mohawk), lots of “date night” types, etc. And they were all super pumped by the hard edged but light hearted Interrupters brand of ska/punk. You can’t help but bop along, and there was a very large but pretty polite mosh pit going on with a lot of crowd surfing.
Here are some pics of the action:
You don’t need to know the Interrupters songs beforehand in order to sing along. Yeah, they’re pretty simple and catchy, and by the middle of the song you can sing the chorus. And the band was in a great mood, playing with the crowd and egging them on.
At one point, they split the audience into two halves and then had them rush together into a big mosh. It was cool. And I’ve never seen this before, but near the end of the show, the pit spontaneously started chanting “you’re amazing” over and over to the band. They were really touched by this, saying it was a first for them and that they loved Philly and need to come back more often. It was cool.
This was clearly one of the best triple-bills I’ve seen in a long time. And I’ve seen a lot of them. It was a great night of rock ‘n’ roll, the kind of night that rekindles your spirit and makes you believe in the power of music. And it was so fundamentally different than Elton John, and I mean that in a good way.
I’ve gotta run now. Peace.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.