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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones | August 15, 2014

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Boston’s Mighty Mighty Bosstones brought the party to San Francisco this past Friday night for what would prove to be an epic evening of ska.  And while there may have been tickets available at the box office when the doors opened, there couldn’t have been many; the Fillmore went out on a limb and printed a run of nifty show posters which are normally reserved for sell-outs.

The night kicked off with a rambunctious set by Los Angeles-based The Interrupters who did an amazing job whipping up the crowd, many of whom were already familiar with their self-titled debut (out last month on Hellcat Records/Epitaph).  Unfortunately for the San Francisco folks, The Interrupters’ success on the road had a downside; they were already sold out of their stock of debut CDs, leaving only a special run that was on ration for the night.  Based on that, you can rightly assume that they’ve been consistently successful in their role as openers.

By the time the Bosstones took the stage at just past 10 pm, the Fillmore was absolutely packed to the rafters.  A massive horned bulldog banner draped the back of the stage and a line of mic stands for the horns and guitars left plenty of space for frontman Dickie Barrett and Ben Carr to work.

The crowd was there for the party and while the drinks were flowing liberally when the Bosstones hit stage, people were more inclined to dance and sing along rather than watch through the small screen of their cell phone.  In fact for the first half of the set, the bar was surprisingly empty as people worked up a thirst before deciding en masse that it was time for that refill.

After 30 plus years, it’s great to see that these guys haven’t missed a beat.  Each member of the band had their moments to step into the spotlight and shine, relieving Dickie and Ben to briefly.  Regardless, mid-way through the set found Dickie stripped of his plaid sport coat and tie and his white button-down plastered to him with sweat.

The 90 minute set covered the gamut of what you’d expect from the Bosstones who were joined by Kevin Bivona of the Interrupters on guitar for a cover of the Clash’s Rudy Can’t Fail.  Things hit a climax during The Impression That I Get that never really faded, even during the quick break for the encore where Dickie swapped out his sweat-soaked shirt for a dry one.  The only downside of the night was that the party finally had to come to an end.


  • Dr. D
  • The Rascal King
  • Kinder Words
  • Graffiti Worth Reading
  • Someday I Suppose
  • Like a Shotgun
  • Everybody’s Better
  • Rudie Can’t Fail (The Clash cover)
  • Where’d You Go?
  • Wasted Summers
  • Another Drinkin’ Song
  • Royal Oil
  • You Left Right?
  • Hell of a Hat
  • Hope I Never Lose My Wallet
  • Bad News and Bad Breaks
  • Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah
  • Devil’s Night Out
  • Don’t Worry Desmond Dekker
  • They Will Need Music
  • Toxic Toast
  • The Impression That I Get
  • Holy Smoke

— Encore —

  • The Old School Off the Bright
  • A Pretty Sad Excuse

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