So I meant to cover this year's Asian Man Records 15th Anniversary Festival in San Francisco in a more timely manner, but let's be honest...I was drinking beer. I'm finally home and caught up on sleep (sort of), so let's kick this party into full gear and I'll tell you about the mayhem, love and reunions that you missed out on.
The festival kicked off Wednesday night with three skanking reunions that sent the entire crowd spiraling into hazy memories of awkward high school make-out sessions, painful braces and the general uncomfortableness of puberty. It all started with Asian Man Records founder Mike Park and his quintessential ska band the Chinkees -- a fun opening act that got plenty ridiculous when an extremely intoxicated Matt Skiba (of Alkaline Trio) was asked to skank onstage.
MU330, Dan Potthast's most well-known group, hit the stage next, pumping out their odd ska flair with trademark confidence and ease. They brought a pretty solid crowd of their own, but the crowd was ready for the headliner by the end of the set.
And then there was the band that started it all. Slapstick, a ska band featuring prominent Chicago punkers like Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms, The Broadways, The Falcon), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio, Tuesday) and Dan Hanaway (The Honor System, The Broadways), lit up the evening with a blazing set that ignited the crowd into a tumbling ball of flames. Of course, no Slapstick set would be complete without Matt Skiba wandering onstage (this time uninvited), thanking Mike Park over and over again and ranting about Asian stereotypes.
And that was just the beginning.