Published Jul 12, 2010Now in its 11th year, Skafest has become a summer festival institution in Victoria, BC but this night belonged to another milestone, the 25th anniversary tour for the mighty Fishbone. Although the Skafest's final bonanza featured an eclectic mix of bands, it was Angelo Moore and company who truly delivered the goods.
First, Oregon's Cherry Poppin' Daddies fought through technical glitches, including a full power outage in the middle of their set that had the whole band running offstage, to deliver high-octane, circus-worthy ska. The nine-piece band had some stellar players, but it was their keyboardist, Tom Green lookalike and king of orgasm faces, Dustin Lanker, who commanded the stage. Meanwhile, singer Steve Perry never stopped skanking.
Up next were the Black Seeds, all the way from New Zealand for their first Canadian show. Unfortunately, their slow-burn soul/funk was nearly sleep-inducing. Over an hour later, more than a few in the crowd were ready for a serious caffeine boost from Fishbone.
When the legends of ska fusion appeared to chants of "Let's go, Fishbone!" from the eager crowd, it didn't take them long to hit a hyper-speed peak. "Ma and Pa" came only three songs in, and with it Moore and co-vocalist Dre Gipson started their crowd-surf shenanigans. For those who have never witnessed the 'Bone live, Moore is a sight to behold. The guy is completely alive up there, doing crazy calisthenics, somersaults and body contorts non-stop. He alone is worth the price of admission.
The rest of Fishbone's set was a blur of highlights, from a Mach 10 version of Sublime's "Date Rape," to a rousing version of "Ugly" dedicated to BP Oil (who Moore hilariously referred to as "teabaggers"), to probably the best version of "Party at Ground Zero" ever. Whether it was the 25-year celebration tour or the final performance of this year's Victoria Skafest that got them going, Fishbone were definitely supercharged by something. Cue a rousing version of "Bonin' in the Boneyard" as the perfect encore.