Bosstones’ jackknife Toad’s

Mike Vincenti

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones brought their ska-core style to Toad’s Place in New Haven to kick off their North American tour in support of their latest album “A Jackknife to a Swan.”
With them came Avoid One Thing, another rising punk band from Boston, Mass., and Bigwig, a hardcore band from New Jersey.
Opening was Avoid One Thing. Avoid and The Bosstones share very strong ties besides both hailing from “Beantown.'”
Former Bosstones’ bassist Joe Gittleman is also the lead singer and bassist for Avoid One Thing.
Avoid played songs off their self-titled debut album, released this year on The Bosstones’ label Side 1 Dummy. Although they have not been together for a long time, they played as if they have been together for years.
The pop-punk quartet opened with “Backyard Joey,” a fast-paced song that relies heavily on the guitar riffs of Amy Griffin and Paul Delano.
This song should have gotten the crowd moving, but the crowd remained standing around.
Not many have heard of Avoid, so the crowd didn’t really get into the show until later in their set.
“Lean On Sheena” was the song that got the biggest reaction out of the crowd. It starts slow and is more melodic than all of the band’s other songs, which makes it very easy to sing along to.
Almost all in attendance were singing along by the end of the song. Although Avoid didn’t have many fans at the start, by the end of their set they gained plenty of new ones.
Bigwig was next on the bill. From New Jersey, Bigwig is a four-piece punk band with a more hardcore sound than Avoid One Thing.
This became apparent right off the bat. They started by lighting the cymbals of the drum set on fire and.
They started their set with “Waste,” high-powered with commanding guitar riffs. From then on, they owned the crowd.
As most bands do, they fed off the crowd’s energy and they fired off song after song, barely stopping to breathe.
Next was the somewhat more melodic “Girl in the Green Jacket,” which got the crowd to sing along as they jumped around. Throughout the set, the crowd became more drawn to the band.
Lastly came headliners The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, seemingly permanent fixtures on the ska/punk circuit, trotting onstage late in the evening.
Coming out as always in full suits, including ties and dress shoes, they opened their set with “Old School off the Bright,” a song that talks about all the different styles and types of kids that come out to their shows.
The show consisted of a mix of songs off both their old and new albums.
The Toad’ appearance marks the homecoming of trombonist Chris Rhodes, formerly of Connecticut ska favorites Spring Heeled Jack, USA.
Realizing this, the crowd gave a very special warm welcome and went crazy every time he played a note.
When doing his part screaming the lyrics for “You Gotta Go!” the people in the crowd showed their devotion by screaming along and crowd-surfing all at the same time.
At this point things got a little hectic in the crowd. Bodies were being tossed through the air like rag-dolls, crowd-surfers were being passed around every ten seconds or so and pushing and shoving was getting a little more violent then usually accepted.
In an effort to calm things down a little, lead singer Dickey invited the crowd a little closer, past the metal barricade.
The entire crowd was invited on stage, although not even a third fit.
“Go ahead, it’s not like security’s gonna stop you!” he said while pointing to the lone security guard at the side of the stage.
If anything, this made matters worse, because now crowd-surfers had something higher to launch themselves off of. And the band played on.
Getting more and more energy from the crowd, they machine-gunned from song to song. During this stint they played well-known crowd favorite songs. Among them were, “Never Lose My Wallet,” “1-2-8,” “Someday I Suppose” and “Noise Brigade.”
A chain-link fence blocks off the 21 and over section at Toad’s. However, no fence could stop the barking Dicky Barrett. To prove this he jumped over it and sang as the band played “The Impression that I Get,” a song that made them popular during the mid-90’s, when introduced to an MTV audience.
The Bosstones’ will be stopping by the Worchester Palladium on Oct. 31, and will be touring the country through December.
For undisclosed reasons, the band had to cancel its Oct. 30 appearance at Hartford’s Webster Theatre, where the band has played on numerous occasions.
Toad’s will be hosting a benefit concert on Dec. 29 for the former drummer of Avoid One Thing, who passed away in April due to a brain aneurysm. Bands set to perform are Big Mistake, Lost City Angels, Cenzo and the remaining members of Avoid One Thing.