Bosstones thrill at Hometown Throwdown

A review of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at the House of Blues on December 28, 2010

, Managing Editor

They say that thirteen is an unlucky number but it didn’t seem to affect The Mighty Mighty Bosstones as they returned to Boston for the thirteenth installment of their “Hometown Throwdown”. They called the House of Blues home on Tuesday for the third and final night of their latest homecoming series.

The Bosstones have developed quite the reputation over the years. The “Plaid Boys of Boston” are one of the city’s most beloved acts of all time despite falling under a genre that goes vastly under-appreciated around these parts. They’ve built such a following through danceable tunes, a slew of punk rock anthems and the liveliest of performances. Led by dynamic frontman Dicky Barrett, the band proved they haven’t lost their knack for flair as they took the stage on Tuesday before a giant wall of light-up Santas and “Blantas”. The stage set also featured a fake fireplace with stockings, Christmas trees, and a single Menorah so as not to leave out their Hebrew friends.

The festive spirit certainly wasn’t restricted to the stage as MMB created a whirl of commotion on the floor as fans danced, moshed and surfed throughout the night. Still, with all the action on the floor Bosstones designated dancer Ben Carr was the highlight of the entertainment per usual. He got the spotlight early in the set, when he was at the top of his game, during “He’s Back” as he flailed across the stage. Barrett called the track “an old school song for the old schoolers” and judging by its reception and audience participation there seemed to be many of those in attendance. The newbies and casual fans were easily spotted later in the night singing along to the Bosstones smash hit “The Impression That I Get” before the encore. Highlighting the 5-song encore was the cheery little Christmas tune “2000 Miles” (originally recorded by The Pretenders), which was soft on the ears despite Barrett’s rough vocals. But it wouldn’t be a real Bosstones show if they went out lightly, so they capped things off by blistering through “Holy Smoke” and “Pirate Ship” as Barrett swayed like a drunken sailor while confetti filled the room. With the crowd screaming for more, the band honored their request by returning for one final song, “A Pretty Sad Excuse”.

The Bosstones show played out as expected, which is fine because their fans expect energy and excitement. MMB did just that with a mix of hits (“Rascal King”, “Someday I Suppose”), newer work (“Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah”, “I Wrote It”), rarities (“Bronzing the Garbage” and “They Came To Boston”) and of course plenty of antics. Barrett playfully admonished a group of fans for forcing their handicapped friend to view the show from the rowdy floor before he welcomed the fan to take in the show from the stage for the rest of the night.

With a cast of characters and a catalog of beloved jams the Bosstones didn’t need luck to produce another thrilling throwdown. Although they only come around about as often as jolly old St. Nick, each Christmas these guys seem to give the greatest gift of all. Here in Boston we’re lucky to call them ours.

Leave a Reply