On August 4th The Interrupters had their first ever headlining show and CD release party at The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, California. They were joined by Left Alone, Oceanside Sound System, HB Surround Sound, and very special surprise guests, Tim Timebomb and Friends. After touring with bands like Rancid, The Transplants, and Devil’s Brigade It’s no surprise The Interrupters have quickly made a name for themselves and gained a dedicated following within the punk and ska world from both fans, and the music community. Their fast paced, ska-centered songs are full of punk rock attitude and fill the band’s self-titled debut albumwith iconic and catchy choruses. Like Less Then Jake, and Streetlight Manifesto, The Interrupters skip long drawn out instrumental sections to keep the energy going from cover to cover. Lead Vocalist Aimee Allen’s voice may be deeper than the stereotypical diva, but if you like Joan Jett or Pat Benatar her voice is a nice refresher and goes against the grain. Their show at The Roxy had the same energetic flair that fans of The Interrupters have come to know and love along with a few welcome twists.
The drum kit may have said O.S.S., but HB Surround Sound were the first to hit the stage. Their versatile and mobile stage presence got ska fans moving within the first few riffs, but made their stationary bass player stuck out like a sore thumb. If you haven’t already guessed, this four piece alternative ska group hails from Huntington Beach, California and knows how to rock a show! Their set was memorable and really shined during their fast paced cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and their latest single “My Radio”. HB Surround Sound has significantly improved compared to the last time this writer saw them three years ago and got the show off to a great start.
Next up was Oceanside Sound System. These punkers quickly hopped on stage clad in Operation Ivy and checkered apparel. The drum kit may not have changed, but their old school attitude proved Oceanside Sound System is a punk band first and a ska band second. Almost immediately after the band’s first song “Lost and Rejected” lead vocalist Skillet parted the audience, hopped off stage, and sang from the side of the mosh pit. His offstage vocals continued for the better part of the band’s performance, but had new fans singing along and shouting his catchy choruses, especially during “It’s a Revolution, and We Don’t Need You”. If there was anyone who wasn’t singing along already their cover of Operation Ivy’s “The Crowd” sure changed that! Oceanside Sound System even brought out Mark Bush of Voodoo Glow Skulls to accompany them during their last few tracks. Skillet’s offstage antics and relatable lyrics made their set pop, but the best was yet to come!
Left Alone took the stage next with their most popular hit, ”Sad Story”. Guitarist and lead vocalist Elvis Cortez formed Left Alone in 1996 along with his own record label Smelvis Records and hasn’t slowed down since! Elvis ended the band’s set with “Every Night”, but not before treating guests at The Roxy to two new tracks. First was a track off their upcoming album Harbor Area titled, ”Hollywood”, but the fun didn’t stop there. Old school Rancid fans rejoiced whit his rendition of “Black Derby Jacket” off the upcoming Rancid tribute album Hooligans United. Add “Leather Bound Book” (which they debuted at Rock The Arts a while back) to the mix and its abundantly clear Left Alone is still going strong! By the Barricade also interviewed Elvis Cortez before the show, and found out plenty of juicy details about his upcoming releases, but that’s a story for another day.
Almost immediately after the curtain fell Elvis Cortez was back on stage with Tim Timebomb and Friends when they burst “Into Action”. The wave of punk rock royalty that accompanied Rancid front man Tim Armstrong onstage was nothing short of unbelievable! Elvis Cortez made a repeat performance on guitar. The three Bivona brothers from The Interrupters covered bass, guitar, and keyboard. Matt Bush, and Ruben Durazo of Voodoo Glow Skulls blew this writer away on the trumpet and trombone, and Tim was later joined by Rancid bassist Matt Freemen. After “Into Action” the band blew through “Lip up Fatty’, “She’s Drunk”, “Bucket’s got a Hole”, and the Operation Ivy cult classic “Soundsystem”. With moshing and stage diving aplenty the short set may have been one of the shows major highlights, but the night was far from over.
This may have been The Inturrupters’ first headling show, but they played like they’ve been selling out arenas for years! The band hardly missed a beat during their set at The Roxy rivaling any old school ska band, and giving them a run for their money! The Inturrupters stared jumping around even before the curtain rose. Kevin and Justin Bivona spent almost the entire set jumping on and off the two blocks wedged between the monitors at the edge of the stage giving them a phenomenal connection with the entire crowd. All the while Aimee Allen, better known by her stage name “Aimee Interrupter” belted through almost every song on the band’s latest album. The band’s cover of Bob Marley’s “Judge Not” made the cut. If the crowd didn’t have their dancing shoes on already, they were hopping off the walls when Tim Armstrong joined The Interrupters to preform “Family”. Their set ended with “Last Call’, but it’s clear The Interrupters are far from finished pleasing this writer.
Overall this show was outstanding! It was hardly unexpected, but each band brought their own style to the table all the while keeping true to the ska and punk roots that inspired them. If you haven’t picked up a copy of The Interrupters latest release, and you consider yourself a fan of bands like Rancid, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, or The Bouncing Souls do yourself a favor and make a trip to your closest record store! Rest assured that By the Barricade will continue bringing you news, and interviews with these awesome bands!