There are a few things that give The Mighty Mighty Bosstones their distinct sound. Frontman Dicky Barrett’s low-toned and full-of-gravel voice is one of them. Their signature mashup of ska and punk music is another.
The Boston band formed in the early ’80s, at a time when hardcore punk acts like Cancerous Growth, Gang Green, and Jerry’s Kids were dominating the city’s underground scene. Armed with multiple instruments, from guitars and drums to harmonicas and horns, this many-membered act merged mellow ska grooves with the fast tempos, and angsty attitudes, and sentiments being delivered by area punk rockers. Six years later, they released their first full-length record, Devil’s Night Out, which got a lot of attention on college radio. That, plus extensive touring, helped drive them toward their union with Mercury Records in 1993.
In 1997, they had notable hits with “The Impression That I Get,” “Where’d You Go?” and “Someday I Suppose,” even performing a couple of those tracks in the blockbuster teen romcom Clueless. The band has taken some breaks and seen a few lineup changes but are currently on the road, rocking out. This year, they dropped While We’re At It, and will stop in Phoenix with their fun and rowdy live show.
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The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3 at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $27. Los Kung Fu Monkeys and Buster Shuffle open. Visit thevanburenphx.com.