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The Pietasters and The Slackers @ Union Transfer.

December 20, 2011

Text by Chad Sims. Top images by Stephanie Sikorski. Bottom image by Dana Lucchine.

For those of you who needed a time machine to the mid 90s via third wave ska, The Pietasters and The Slackers played Union Transfer last Thursday.

The show was so good it broke my camera (special thanks to the lovely Dana Lucchine and Stephanie Sikorski for the pics, all of which are of The Slackers).

The Snails opened the evening with a good set. The Pietasters, who I have seen a number of times but not since the late 90s, were always one of my favorite ska bands. They were fun without being overly silly, and great for dancing.

In that respect, The Tasters have not changed much since the old days but their sound has matured over time and now focuses more on traditional reggae and soul (as have on their last few releases). As their sound has become more sophisticated, the one problem that has stood out has been vocalist Stephen Jackson’s somewhat limited vocal range. But during a live show, Jackson’s enthusiasm more than makes up for any of his technical limitations.

Of course, The Pietasters played old favorites like “Maggie Mae,” “Freak Show,” “Girl Take It Easy” and “Dollar Bill.”

While I had seen The Slackers before, they had never left much of an impression. This time, however, I was completely blown away by how far this band has come. This band is the most musically proficient ska band I have personally ever had the pleasure to witness. They played songs ranging across their prodigious output and ended with some holiday favorites.

If you are music fan – even if ska is not you cup of tea, see this band at least once.  They are a blast.

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