In the few years that I’ve been reviewing concerts and albums for Bucketlist, I’ve rarely felt out of my element. Sure, I’ve been to shows where I wasn’t totally familiar with the band or listened to albums from genres I didn’t know so well, but on March 20th, 2019, entering Club Soda to see The Interrupters play with Rat Boy and Masked Intruder, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt. The ska/punk genre is definitely not my specialty. I know little of the community or the bands within, but at the end of the night, I would quickly realize how open, inclusive, welcoming and fun the community is.
At 7:30 sharp, Essex, England’s Rat Boy hit the stage. These dudes were awesome. Playing a blend of old-school and street punk, it felt like a revival of all the punk bands that defined my high-school years, like Rancid and NOFX. They got on stage and ripped through tracks from their latest offering, Internationally Unknown, with included songs like “I Wanna Skate” and “So What.” Sadly, the crowd could’ve been a little more into it. During “So What,” the crowd participation part of the song was met with little to no response, which was disappointing because they definitely deserved more of a reaction. Their set was a sloppy good time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if it was a little short.
Up next was the direct support for the evening, Masked Intruder. Let me get something out of the way immediately. When I saw three dudes and one lady walk on stage with different coloured masks, matching instruments and shoes with a fake police officer standing by, I thought to myself “well, this is a gimmicky band if I ever saw one.” But, holy shit, not only was the music fantastic but it was hilariously entertaining. The band members are named after their colour, so there’s Red, Blue, Green and Purple (who’s actually replacing Yellow because Yellow is in jail. No, really, check this Instagram post).
Masked Intruder played through various selections of tunes from their discography, which included “Crime Spree,” “25 to Life” and “No Case.” In case you didn’t notice, they’re definitely going for a theme here. I’d describe the music as having a pop-punk aesthetic, but definitely a lot more hard-hitting than your typical Blink 182 blend. And their in-between songs banter with the crowd was hilarious. I especially loved how the police officer character begins the set by being confrontational with the crowd, flipping them off and nodding his head in disapproval. But by the end of it, he’s in the crowd, moshing and singing along with everyone else. So far, the evening kicked off with two incredibly fun bands, but I knew it was only going to get better.
The Interrupters were up and the sold-out Club Soda crowd was ready to explode, and explode they did. As the three Bivona brothers and lead singer Aimee Interrupter walked on stage, they were met with massive cheers as they immediately kicked off with “A Friend Like Me” from their 2014 Self-Titled record. Their entire set, consisting of about 20 songs, was a fantastic mix of all their discography. We got to hear a lot of tracks from the band’s latest record, Fight the Good Fight including, “Title Holder,” “Room With a View” and more. Towards the end of the night, when they played their biggest hit, “She’s Kerosene,” Aimee brought up two young girls to dance and sing along with her. Talk about teaching ’em young! Good job Aimee!
Here’s a band that just loves what they do, and it shows. Smiles were worn on the faces of all the band members, but none more than Aimee as she repeatedly got close to the crowd, high fived and shook hands with fans and took the time to simply wave to people. As Kevin Bivona stated at one point (at least I think it was Kevin) during the show, “this is not a place for sexism, racism or homophobia.” The entire night was all about having a fun time with people that share your love for an amazing band and I’m thrilled I was there to witness it.
Written by Dominic Abate
Photography by Amanda Hiscock
*edited by Mike Milito