Live and let dance. That sentiment has always been at the forefront of the ska movement, and in 2022, “In Defense of Ska” is in our face. Sure, it’s a great title of a book, but it’s more than that, or a tour that shares the same name. For those who are in the Orange County ska scene, it’s a way of life. Ready or not, Buck-O-Nine and Mustard Plug are going to bring the be-all, end-all of fun and great music to the Garden Amp this Sunday!
In Defense of Ska Tour!
Sunday, January 16, 2022
The Garden Amphitheatre
Since the ‘90s, ska has been the epicenter of all things cool and stylish. Sure two-tone set the bar with bands like The Untouchables, Voodoo, and the Bosstones, but third-wave ska is literally in our backyard.
Buck-O-Nine is OC adjacent; from San Diego, they hit it big from jump street in 1991. It didn’t take long for them to be playing on the international stage. Their album “Twenty-Eight Teeth” featured “My Town.” This song broke many barriers, and still gets radio airplay worldwide. Lead singer Jon Pebsworth told TNN Radio, “I am grateful that we can do what we do. If it wasn’t for our fans, other mega-ska bands that took us under their wing, and the scene itself… I don’t know if we would still be doing this. Luckily, everything has come together and lady luck has been smiling on us all these years.”
When we asked Pebs about touring, he said, “It just amazes me how many cool tours we’ve been on and we look forward to doing it all over again in 2022.”
As for Mustard Plug, they are the Monsters of the Midway! Wait, I think that’s the Chicago Bears. Regardless, they are the monsters of ska from the Midwest; Grand Rapids, Michigan to be exact. They too formed in ’91 and have been entertaining us with their high-octane style of ska punk. Like Buck-O-Nine, they have made it on the international stage playing just about everywhere on the planet alongside the biggest bands in the world of ska.
About the band’s goal, Jim Hofer said, “We may have some messages in our music, but essentially we just do this because we love it and we want people to lighten up and have fun.”
They recently played OC’s Brew Ska Ska, and at the show we ran into lead singer Dave Kirchgessner. Playing hits like “Mr. Smiley,” “Hit Me! Hit Me!” and “Beer,” Mustard Plug was in top form and impressed the locals. Any band from outside the 714 has to be great to impress, after all, it’s the home of No Doubt for God sakes. Kirchgessner told us, “We love playing Orange County; it’s always a blast coming out here, the support we get from the OC ska community is unreal, and meeting up with all our old friends always makes a trip to the OC so much worth it for us. We can’t wait to play with Pebs and the guys in January.”
As for the here and now, “In Defense of Ska” started as a book, then it evolved into a podcast, and it’s now a full-fledged tour. Keep your eyes open for a special appearance from book author, Aaron Carnes.
Evildoers beware; this show is not for the faint of heart. This will be a high-velocity, high-energy show, so be ready to skank and roll at the Garden Amp this Sunday with Buck-O-Nine, Mustard Plug, Omnigone, and local favorites Half Past Two and Noise Complaint.
As for everyone else, fear not! The Tour kicks off in San Diego on Thursday, January 11th and makes several stops throughout the West Coast over the next couple of weeks.
Tickets are on sale and for $15 you can have the time of your life!