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CMJ live: Fishbone @ Le Poisson Rouge



So I got a lot of laughs when I told people I was going to see Fishbone at LPR last Friday, but the joke's on them, because the show was fantastic.

Ska may be super uncool these days — though with the millennial return of sincerity, I don't see that lasting. As a live show experience, it's way more fun to go to a dance party than sit there with your arms crossed, nodding your head to some indie band (which I've done and enjoyed as well). It's possible that music is just more exciting when there's the possibility that someone will bust their head crowd surfing.

And, oh, was their crowd surfing. Even lead singer Angelo Moore got in on it. He was just amazing. At 44 years old, he had the energy of 5 guys half his age. In addition to the crowdsurfing (which he did several times), he was doing cartwheels and throwing high kicks all night. There was no stopping him. Over the course of the concert, he stripped down from a jacket and tie to shirtless — showing off some amazing washboard abs.

So they were a physical force to be reckoned with. But they also tore up the house with a sonic maelstrom. Moore's voice is in as good a shape as his body; he was hitting the high notes like it was nothing. Which, I've spent a lot of time talking about just him because he is such a presence, but the rest of the band was no shabby shakes either. The horns were sick and the vocal melodies tight. The crowd was literally jumping the entire time.

Unfortunately, they started to run overtime, and LPR is apparently strict about curfew. "We've got eight minutes," Moore announced to the crowd. The band discussed how they were going to attack it and launched into a frenetic rendition of "Party at Ground Zero."

It was as rocking a show as I've seen all year. I like seeing new music at CMJ, checking out bands at the beginning of their careers, but there's nothing like seeing a musical spectacular by some old pros.


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