Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Streetlight Manifesto - One of the Greatest Bands of the Last 15 Years

I figured since I’m going to a show this Friday I would talk about the band I’m seeing as they are without a doubt one of my all-time favorites.  Streetlight Manifesto was one of the first bands I saw live at the Avalon back in 2006 and it was an incredible experience.  Since then I’ve seen them three other times and this will be the fifth.  Every time is as energetic and blood pumping as the last.  This third wave ska group formed in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 2002 and since then have released five albums, the latest being The Hands that Thieve in 2013.  The band blends elements of punk, ska, rock, and jazz into a veritable slurry of audible gold.  The group has undergone several lineup changes over the years but lead singer Tomas Kalnoky (formerly of Catch-22) has always been at the helm, spouting lyrics at light speed as his band mates blast their horns and furiously strum their guitars.  While their stage presence leaves little to be desired, their strong point is their speed.  Streetlight is the band that got me in to ska and punk as they blend the two genres flawlessly and play them at a pace that is unparalleled.  Each album has continued in the vein of their last, maintaining their sound while still growing artistically as any new album should.  Before The Hands that Thieve they released an album of cover songs, 99 Songs of Revolution, covering songs by bands such as Bad Religion, NOFX, Radiohead, and The Postal Service bringing their own style and of course their horns to some classic tunes.  Sadly, the band is taking a break from serious touring for a few years, as the members work on side projects and spend more time with their families.  So go online and buy tickets to see them at the House of Blues this Friday!!  It’s only $18, a steal when you consider the history and following the band has amassed over the past decade.  I’ll be there in the middle of the commotion just as I was 7 years ago and I know that it will be just as incredible as the first time.

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