Viva Ska Vegas

Henderson Events Plaza, April 28

Smiling and skankin’ abounded at a daylong, all-ages fest of ska bands. The lineup—including local favorites Tuesday After School, the Spanish-flavored La Banda Skalavera and ska super-legends the Skatalites (with their massively skilled horn section)—made it feel like 1998 and even attracted many out-of-state attendees.

The rally cry of “Who do voo doo we doo—fuck you!” from “Voodoo Anthem” by California’s Voodoo Glow Skulls kicked things into high gear. Although lead singer Frank Casillas’ voice seemed a bit strained, the Glow Skulls rallied the troops to their feet with “Left for Dead” and a big thank-you to all the hard-core fans in the mosh pit.

St. Louis band MU330 provided a high-energy set and humorous banter. “Las Vegas is easily in our top 500 cities to play,” singer Dan Potthast claimed, later adding, “I always thought this would be an amazing town to raise a kid.” Songs included “KKK Hiway” and “Serious,” then Potthast provided impromptu guitar lessons for a fan before launching into “Stuff.”

But what ultimately worked the crowd into a frenzy? Orange County, Calif.’s blue spandex-clad Aquabats, who are still at their shtick after more than 15 years. Numerous fans wore the same getup, including rubber helmets and goggles. “Repo Man” and “Pool Party” stirred memories for the “kids,” as the Aquabats called the members of the audience. Rad visuals punctuated new material.

It was a fantastic day that left attendees wondering if a fourth wave of ska might be on the horizon. ★★★★☆