Ska Is Dead

Portland 2009

It’s the Fourth Coming of the Ska Is Dead Tour (, and there are signs that the resurrection is keeping. Marking a return of the all-ska tour after a three-year hiatus, SID4 is bringing ass-shaking good times to an all-ages venue near you RIGHT NOW (see site for tour dates). Saturday’s 6 hour set from 5 great bands proved SID founder Dave Kirchgessner’s posit: Ska is anything but dead.

Local Portland band The Disliked opened with a tightly wound set, complete with a upbeat Cars cover of ‘Just What I Needed’. True skanksters filtered to the floor for the SF Bay group, Monkey. Their high-energy horn section and positive vibe were an excellent lead-in to Chicago’s Deal’s Gone Bad. With true punk-rock enthusiasm, lead man Todd Hembrook led the crowd in call-and-answer “Fuck Yeah!”s and “Motherfuckin’ All Right!”s before jumping off with their classic, “Things Are Gonna Get Better.” Layering vocal harmonies and punchy horns, DGB shook the Hawthorne and every Doc Martened foot in the house.

SoCal legends Voodoo Glow Skulls took to the stage after 10:30 and punched out songs from some of their newer releases before settling into a more natural-sounding set of 90’s skate-core favorites. Ska-gods The Toasters took the reigns for the last set of the show, and the punks faded back to let the skins to get their skank on. Rudies linked elbows with aging hipsters, and the show mellowed to a surprisingly calm close, showing us that Ska’s not only not dead, but that it’s also got manners.

-HK like the gun with the grin. 😀


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