Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones 

with Flogging Molly and Sum 41. Tuesday, October 24, at the Agora.

"I'm your fucked-up dance instructor. You're here for your lesson. So dance." Thus demands Mighty Mighty Bosstones frontman Dicky Barrett on "High School Dance," the most convincingly rocking track on Pay Attention, the band's latest full-length stab at ska-core perfection. It's not a bad little album, actually; it's loaded with pop hooks, guitar swoops, and arena-rock payoff choruses. But, as usual, the 'Tones are just using it as an excuse to go out on tour. The seven-man Boston collective belongs on stage, riling up a frothing, moshing audience with their ska-optimism-to-punk-rage dynamic. Decked out in natty suits, the Bosstones pull all the elements together: Barrett's guttural howl, the expert slow/fast/soft/loud juggling of the rhythm section, the melodic horn section, and the guy who doesn't do anything but dance. The sheer viscosity and energy of the live set powered the Bosstones long before mainstream radio caught on (with 1997's ubiquitous "The Impression That I Get"), and it will continue to support them long after their high media profile blows over. Though their songwriting continues to shine on newer tracks such as "High School Dance," the "Impression"-esque "So Sad to Say," and the Afro-Cuban shuffle of "She Just Happened," Pay Attention is a bit stiff and banal. So don't expect too many more radio hits -- but if it's manic energy, expert showmanship, and a truly fan-friendly attitude you're after, just check in with the fucked-up dance instructor and do what he says.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony @ Severance Music Center

    • Fri., Dec. 3
  • DL Hughley @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Fri., Dec. 3
  • Michael Stanley: A Celebration with the Resonators & Jonah Koslen @ MGM Northfield Park

    • Fri., Dec. 3

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation