Veteran third-wave ska band Mustard Plug came through Vegas to play the Hard Rock Café on the Strip March 1. A quick Google search reminded me that it has been nearly 13 years since the last time I saw the band, which I remember as one of my favorite shows from my senior year of high school. This night reminded me of why I had such fond memories, as the band blasted through fan favorites “Mendoza,” “Skank by Numbers,” “Thigh High Nylons,” “You” and Verve Pipe cover “The Freshmen.” They also played several newer songs off their latest (and underrated) CD In Black and White, such as “Hit Me! Hit Me!,” “You Can’t Go Back” and “Life is Too Short.” Closing out the show before the encore was whoa sing-along “The Beer Song.”
Opening the show was local Celtic-inspired act Bogtrotter’s Union, who sounded great, and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Next up was local ska band Be Like Max who I last saw open for Less Than Jake. They seemed much tighter this time around, and entertained the crowd by first chugging a bottle of mustard, and then allowing a lucky crowd member to cut their bass player’s mohawk. I was also pleased to hear them cover The Hippo’s song “Far Behind” which I had long since forgotten about. Next up were Orange County’s Save the Swim Team, and Tijuana’s Los Kung Fu Monkeys. Both bands had the enthusiastic crowd dancing along.
-Aaron Mattern | https://www.flickr.com/photos/akmofoto/