Show Review: The Slackers celebrate the Holidays at Irving Plaza with War On Women and The Pandemics

Show Review: The Slackers celebrate the Holidays at Irving Plaza with War On Women and The Pandemics

The Slackers on stage at Irving Plaza. Text and photos by Kate Hoos

NYC Ska stalwarts The Slackers hit the stage a few days before Christmas for their annual holiday show at Irving Plaza in Manhattan where they were joined by fellow ska heads The Pandemics and feminist hardcore firebrands War On Women to make for a genre bending helluva good time holiday shindig!

Pics and review from the show below.


The Pandemics opened up the night with a quick power set of their lively and fun tunes. They got the crowd moving with their infectious energy and also threw in what is probably one of the best covers ever of the classic Dead Kennedy’s song “Holiday In Cambodia.” You know a punky ska version of DK is just what you need in your life!

War On Women were up second and brought a blistering dose of hardcore to the night. They tore right into their set with their trademark hard hitting riffs and laser sharp political lyrics. This band fiercely shreds and goes all out on stage- giving 200% at every single performance- with their lyrics leaving no mistake about their stance on misogyny, transphobia, the “Predator In Chief,” (the subject of the 10th track on their latest album, 2018’s superb Capture The Flag) and the current dark state of the world in general.

You might think a band that has been getting a lot more attention since their 2017 Warped Tour stint and with such a huge stage presence might not be approachable off stage but you would be wrong. They are warm, welcoming, and equally engaging off stage, with singer Shawna Potter and guitarist Jenarchy taking time to hang, pose for pics, and chat with fans in the merch area for long after their set.


The Slackers closed out the night and brought the vibe back to a rock steady groove. They have been fixtures in the NYC ska community, and well beyond, since the 90s and their annual holiday shows are always nothing less than a total blast. Freshly back from a tour that saw them hit cities in Europe and on the West Coast, they had not an ounce of road weariness in their performance, owning the stage and keeping the rapt crowd bouncing throughout with a set packed with fan favorites and gems.

The truth is you can’t not have fun at a Slackers show and what better way to bring in Christmas a few days early then to hang and dance with friends at their annual holiday bash?  With a lineup like this, Santa definitely came early in 2018!

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