Saxophones bellowed, trombones blared and guitars wailed Tuesday night at The Toasters concert.
The Toasters, a Ska band, are a St. Louis staple who attempt to show up in our fair town once a year. If you are unaware, Ska traces its origins to Jamaica, where it evolved from Reggae and Dub. It made its way across the pond to England and became a world-wide phenomenon in the ‘90s. (Bands like Reel Big Fish and Save Ferris might be more familiar.) Ska is characterized by a walking bass line, upbeat guitars and brass instruments.
Tuesday was not the best of days to have a concert. Several inches of snow and just four hours before Valentine’s Day were two strikes. But The Toasters did not disappoint.
Some local talent opened the show that frosty evening. A band in its early stages called Captain Dee and the Long Johns started off on the right foot, with a bit of Ska on the more punk side of things. They were followed by All Things Aquatic, who must have been members of a high school jazz band that stayed together to rock around St. Louis. Their six piece ensemble contained a trombone, a saxophone and a trumpet, to give the brassy feel Ska fans search for. They played an enjoyable cover of a Streetlight Manifesto song as well as a song of their own creation called “Silverlake.”
Needless to say, the masses were skanking the night away.
Skank is the dance counterpart of Ska. A song by the Ska band Mustard Plug called “Skank By Numbers” explains it best: “One, get off your seat. Two, stomp your boots to the beat. Three, throw your knees in the air, like you don’t care!” For those acquainted with dances of the ‘80s, it’s almost exactly like the running man, and a bit similar to the Melbourne Shuffle.
The last bit of St. Louis talent to take the stage was Samuriot, a local five-piece band that was missing a keyboardist. They had some extremely comedic lyrics, and the best trumpet player of the night. They had an excellent song about the Pillsbury Dough Boy getting over drug addiction, and they threw Valentine’s Day-themed Little Debbie snack cakes at the audience after every song.
The Toasters took the stage after an audio intro filled with clips from strange T.V. commercials— and not a soul stood still. The small crowd skanked for almost the whole set. The familiar camaraderie of a great Ska show in a small venue enveloped the scene. Buck, the lead singer and guitarist, struck up a great stage presence, while generally making fun of St. Louis and everyone in at the show.
After playing Toasters classics, such as “2-Tone Army” and “I’m Running Right Through The World,” Buck delivered a speech about his distaste for politicians, which ended with “Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down.”
Below is my interview with Buck from The Toasters
Below is the radioshow crafted for this concert (show playlist at the bottom of the page)
And some pictures
AND THE PLAYLIST
What a Gwan - The Toasters
Interview with Buck
S.U.D.S - Captain Dee and the Long Johns
Silverlake - All Things Aquatic
Ten Years - Samuriot
One More Bullet - The Toasters
Foolish Pride - The Dropsteppers
Skank By Numbers - Mustard Plug
Talk of Revolution - Car Full of Midgets
Russian Roulette - Do it with Malace
Gas Money Millionairs - Survay Says
Physical Distraction - Reaching Scarlet