Concert Review: 3rd Wave Ska / Punk Dead? Yes & No

Recently I decided it was time to suffer through another night in the San Diego House of Blues. I rarely attend concerts there, as the lack of air conditioning makes it a miserable place to watch a concert. But when there is a band there that I REALLY want to see...I will still go into the smelly sauna....

There are many critics that say the whole "3td Wave Ska / Punk" genre is over...what started in the early to mid-90's has produced few decent bands in the last several years, and the OG bands seem to be far past their prime.

An example of that was the 3rd band on this 4 band bill. The one hit San Diego wonder Buck-O-Nine (I was reminded also when the band did their video for their one hit tribute to San Diego "My Town" one of the members was actually wearing a Dodger cap). This is one of those bands that I think got caught up in the ska wave and should have paddle in to shore when that wave broke,. Their set was uncreative, weak, and too much nostalgia and not enough great music.

The other FAR side of the coin is Goldfinger. Lead singer and only original member left John Feldman may have been the "senior" of this circuit, but you wouldn't know it by his performance. The energy, comedy, and relentlessness of Feldy's desire to entertain while having a great time himself, gives me hope that not only can this genre of bands still do GREAT live shows, but as was evident by performances from the 2017 GF album like "Tijuana Sunrise" and "Put the Knife Away", bands like Goldfinger are still recording great music.

Although missing a couple of members i had come to enjoy in the earlier days of the band, Feldman employed the best players from other bands like Mxpx and Reel Big Fish to be a part of the 2018 Goldfinger lineup and they supported John admirably. My only disappointment was that Mark Hoppus from San Diego band Blink 182 didn't make an appearance. His co-vocals on "See Your Around" on the latest GF cd was a highlight, and it would have been great to see Mark show up and pay tribute to a guy more responsible for producing hit records for bands than anyone else of this genre.... including the 2016 Blink 182 release "California" as well as recent releases by Papa Roach, The Used, & iHeartradio Music Festival artist Panic At the Disco.

John is still, in my opinion, the single greatest producer and performer to emerge from that mid-1990's music explosion that, at the time produced such great music.

Pics of the concert from my lousy phone cam are below

Dwight Arnold

Dwight Arnold

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