Youthful energy met the inevitable linear movement of time on Saturday night at the House of Blues, as an “all ages” crowd skanked like it was 1997 for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones‘ biggest album turned 21 this year, but, as lead singer (and Jimmy Kimmel announcer) Dickey Barrett pointed out, the anti-bigotry messages still are sadly relevant today. The messages of love and being good to one another resonated throughout the high-energy show, as the band, clad in their custom black-and-white (and red, for Barrett with his newly redone attire) never let up throughout the set.

Sure, the band has a new album out called While We’re At It, but the old timers knew what everyone was there for, and was kind enough to focus on the 25+ years of their discography pre-dating their most recent effort. The band was clearly having fun – more than just permanent dancer Ben Carr were bopping around the stage – and that feeling was passed down to the ample, older-skewing crowd. Lest you think this is a bit hyperbolic, it is; there were kids in the crowd, who Barrett pulled up during the encore to dance around the stage.

Barrett solicited (and returned) hats from the crowd during “Hell of a Hat,” highlighted his band (including Stephen Colbert ringer and original member Johnny Vegas), and worked the audience like the performer he is. The band was kind enough to alternate the pace of their songs, giving those in the vigorous pit the break they likely needed.

Barrett also had high hopes for the future of the genre, applauding fourth-wave openers Los Kung Fu Monkeys and Buster Shuffle and proclaiming this time to be “The Summer of Ska.” While the rest of the world may not agree, count on the Bosstones to keep the movement and message going for quite a while longer.

Review by: David Israel