The Bosstones HomeTown ThrowDown
Always a Reunion
at the Boston House of Blues
By Maia Kennedy
The holidays are often a time when family and friends are able to come together. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ HomeTown ThrowDowns are no different. This show, a Christmas-time tradition for almost 20 years, has become a time of reunion for many. The Bosstones’ fans come from far and wide, around the US and many countries. Many of these people have met and organized fan clubs in order to stay in touch and meet up at concerts. There is the 737 fan club (named after the post-office box the band used to use to communicate with their fans) and the Buckminster Brigade (named after the Kenmore Square hotel where everyone stays). I even managed to bump into my new friend from the Netherlands again (mentioned in my review of Dicky’s Birthday Bash). The Bosstones’ fans are a dedicated group. I wouldn’t be surprised to see many of the people I met at this ThrowDown again at future shows, even those from England and Australia!
These shows are filled with a crazy energy; for most, they have waited all year to see this favorite band from Boston. The Bosstones’ ska-core style of music is the cure for everyone’s winter-depression. The band killed it on Night 2 of the ThrowDown, playing a wide variety of songs from over the years. They played a bunch of my favorites off the earlier albums: “Someday I Suppose” (Ska-core, The Devil and More), “The Impression That I Get” (Let’s Face It) and “Where’d You Go” (More Noise and Other Disturbances). I was also surprised by a few songs that I wasn’t familiar with, including the opening one appropriately chosen for the holidays, “This Time of Year.”
Dicky held out the microphone many times, inviting the audience in sing-alongs. One lucky fan was even brought onstage to join in. As the instrumental intro to the song slowly started, Dicky yelled for “Katz” to join him. Just as “the man in the white suit” got onstage, the music picked up and they all jumped into “Hope I Never Lose My Wallet” (Youtube video). I soon found out this guy is the singer in a Bosstones cover band named after the Bosstones’ song, “Toxic Toast.”
Shortly after that, the guitarist from The Interrupters, one of the opening bands, came on to join in on a fantastic cover of The Clash single “Rudie Can’t Fail.” There were plenty of other surprises that night, including two fans invited onstage for a wedding proposal! I can’t even imagine what that soon-to-be-bride felt, first the surprise of being asked onstage and then for her boyfriend to get down on one knee! Of course, she said “Yes!” and everyone applauded.
The Bosstones have a history of giving exposure to local bands and this year was no exception. There were three bands that opened this night: the punk band The Warning Shots, skapunk band The Interrupters, and an acoustic song by Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One. These were all great bands that I would go see again anytime.
This HomeTown ThrowDown not only provided a ton of great music and a wall of santas, but also a chance to help others. The Bosstones offered a limited number of VIP passes to the House of Blues Foundation Room where people could meet members of the band before the show. The money from this fundraiser went to Veterans Inc, an organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families. There was also another chance for everyone to help just as they were walking into the show; Love, Hope, Strength had a table there where people could register to be bone marrow donors. This organization’s motto is “Saving Lives, One Concert at a Time” and they have added thousands of people to the national marrow database in the process.
Showing his love again for the opening band, The Interrupters, Dicky changed into one of their shirts for the encore songs. And perhaps as a shout-out to the 737 crew in the audience, “Seven Thirty Seven/Shoe Glue” was the final song of the night.
“737 almost everyday...
Nice to know that someone hears us. I
t's good to know somebody's there.
Taking the time to say hello.
Taking the time to show you care.
Write again and thanks again from the bottom of my heart.
See you soon and till then 737 is a real big part.”
I am crossing my fingers along with everyone else that I will be at the next show in July, this time at Fenway when they open for the Foo Fighters. Hope to see you all there!! (Here is Dicky Barrett’s Annual State of the ThrowDown where he thanks everyone (inc. musicians, contributing bands, people backstage, and even the fans) who has helped to make the ThrowDown as successful and enjoyable as it is.)
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Setlist:
1. This Time of Year
2. They Came to Boston
3. The Rascal King
4. You Gotta Go!
5. Someday I Suppose
6. Let Me Be
7. You Left Right?
8. Where'd You Go?
9. The Cave
10. I Want My City Back
11. I Won't Go Out Like That
12. Kinder Words
13. Hope I Never Lose My Wallet (Marc Katz duet)
14. Wrong Thing Right Then
15. Royal Oil
16. Rudie Can't Fail (The Clash cover)
17. Sunday Afternoons on Wisdom Ave.
18. The Old School Off the Bright
19. Your Life
20. They Will Need Music
21. Don't Worry Desmond Dekker
22. Johnny Too Bad (The Slickers cover)
23. Open and Honest
24. The Impression That I Get
25. Lights Out (Angry Samoans cover) Encore:
26. Toxic Toast
27. Seven Thirty Seven/Shoe Glue
The Interrupters Setlist
1. Last of
3. White Noise
4. Take Back The Power
5. Can't Be Trusted
6. This Is the New Sound
7. Easy on You
8. Christmas song
10. California sun
12. A Friend Like Me
13. Last Call
14. Sound System (Operation Ivy cover) w/ special guest David McWane from Big D and the Kid’s Table