To refer to The Interrupters current nationwide tour featuring direct support from Bad Cop Bad Cop as “highly anticipated” would be understating things in every possible way. The seven-week run circumnavigates the lower 48, and serves as not only The Interrupters first full US headlining tour, but Bad Cop Bad Cop’s first lengthy full US tour as well. For those reasons, and I’m sure many others, the tour rightfully ranks as a giant milestone moment filled with countless smaller milestone moments in the careers of both bands. But there is something about the tour that also feels like a milestone moment for the observer. For starters, it feels like a bit of a throwback to the groundbreaking glory days of Epitaph Records and Fat Wreck Chords, respectively, a time period that formulated the punk rock listening habits of a great many of us. But more than that, and you’ll have to forgive my occasionally foggy-at-best memory, but in the recent annals of punk history (and probably the not-so-recent ones too), you’d be hard-pressed to find such a lengthy, well-received tour involving not one, but two female-fronted punk bands playing in front of such high volume crowds. To put things bluntly, the tour feels, on paper, to be important. (Check out our recent tour-previewing interview with Kevin and Aimee from The Interrupters here.)
If you’ve been following the tour via the respective bands’ social media accounts, you’re probably well aware of just how fun and positive and high energy things seem to be as the tour rounds into its second month. But just like calling the tour “highly anticipated” is an understatement of epic proportions, so to is referring to its individual shows as an amalgam of “fun” and “positive” and “high energy.” So when you add to that already stellar lineup two intense and passionate local openers (The Doped Up Dollies and Mickey Rickshaw) the net result is that the Boston stop equated to one of the better showgoing experiences of this or most any other calendar years. Touring in support of their stellar sophomore album, Say It Out Loud, The Interrupters overcame a few early-set microphone-related technical difficulties to blast through a 21-song set that left little-if-anything to be desired.
From the very first notes of set opener “A Friend Like Me,” the foursome never really took their collective feet off the gas pedal. Anchored by the rock-solid Jesse Bivona on drums, the front-of-stage trio of Kevin Bivona (guitar), Justin Bivona (bass) and of course Aimee “Interrupter” Allen on vocals served as a continuous ball of frenetic energy, endlessly dancing, bouncing back-and-forth across the venue’s rather small stage. There are very few bands going who seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs and interacting with crowds night-in and night-out like The Interrupters do. Loyalty and family are recurring themes throughout the band’s body of work, and they seem sincere in referring to their fans as part of their extended family. Another of their family members, David McWane of Big D and the Kids Table fame, joined the band on stage for a true-to-the-0riginal cover of the Operation Ivy classic “Sound System,” while all available members of the collection of opening bands joined the foursome on stage for a dance party during encore closer “This Is My Family” before posing for a now-trademark post set group shot.
As mentioned above, Bad Cop Bad Cop are providing direct support for the duration of this tour. If there were another band in the scene that can match The Interrupters level of frenetic energy and their seeming enjoyment of taking the stage and playing night in and night out, it would o doubt be Bad Cop Bad Cop. Making only their second-ever Boston stop – and their first with bass player Linh Le in the house (Masked Intruder’s Intruder Yellow filled in when the band opened up the Fat Wreck 25th Anniversary tour last year as Le was attending her best friend’s wedding), the band seemed intent on making up for lost time in front of a crowd that seemed all-too eager to welcome them back to town. Drummer Myra Gallarza, who is easily one of the more underrated pace-setters in the scene provided a stable foundation for the three-part monster of co-frontwomen Stacey Dee and Jennie Cotterill to trade riffs and three-part harmonies with the whirling dervish that is Le.
Speaking of three-part harmonies, direct local support came by way of The Doped Up Dollies, a trio that rather famously started as supporting vocalists for David McWane and his band of Boston ska veterans, Big D and the Kids Table, before branching out as a unique, standalone act. The Dollies bill themselves as a three-piece act that play a “fusion of hopscotch/double dutch, ska, reggae, blues and soul,” and backed by a band that I’m pretty sure consisted of eighteen parts (honestly, I lost count but I think there were a total of nine members on the small club stage), including McWane himself, the trio of Brie McWane, Sirae Richardson and Erin McKenzie (pictured in that order above) present one of the more unique newish acts in the game. The variation in styles keeps the band from being pigeonholed, and allows them to fit in perfectly in myriad settings, and they proved to be a fantastic sonic change of pace on this particular bill without sacrificing much, if anything, in the way of overall energy.
Mickey Rickshaw, another stage-crowding local band (I’m relatively convinced that there are 8 of them, but again, the stage was small enough that I might have lost one or two or seven of them), opened the show off with about as frenetic a set as you can get. The band play an unapologetically fast and loud blend of Celtic punk that somehow, because of their energy level, make that occasionally well-worn sound seem fresh and vibrant. In a scene, particularly locally, that can seem crowded and redundant, Mickey Rickshaw have rather quickly made a name for themselves as the cream that has risen to the top.
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