The Pietasters, Ska Music Like the English Beat, on StageOne

The Pietasters

StageOne in Fairfield (www.fairfieldtheatre.org) is celebrating St Patrick’s Day, March 17th, with a special concert by The Pietasters at 7:30 PM (doors open at 7:00 PM). Tickets are $22 and members get a $3 discount.

The Pietasters — a term of British slang for “fat guys”– are a seven-piece ska revival band founded in 1990 in Washington, DC by Stephen Jackson and some friends from Virginia Tech. Ska, for the uninitiated, is a musical style that originated in Jamaica in the fifties; a mix of horn riffs, calypso and Caribbean sound played by musicians with a general appreciation of drinking, fun-loving, and rebellion. It is also recognized as precursor to reggae.

Obsessed with the musical history of soul and Motown and influences coming from seventies ska bands like The Specials (Coventry, UK) and Bad Manners (London), The Pietasters stepped into the spotlight when they opened for the British ska band Bad Manners in 1992.

Their tight, high-energy, brassy punk reggae style gets people up and dancing before they know it. This could be why bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Ozomatli, and Cherry Poppin Daddies have asked them to share the stage on tour, or why James Brown had them back him up in front of 25,000 people in DC.

The Pietasters have been playing together for 22 years. They are known as a band playing catchy, energetic music that knows how to take control of a room, playing such favorites as Drunken Master, Night Owl, and One Dollar Bill besides fan favorite renditions of Maggie Mae (Rod Stewart), Come Together (The Beatles) and Listen to Her Heart (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers). Their lineup has changed over the years but some core members remain — namely founder Steve Jackson on vocals — but their sound is as tight as ever. Don’t miss this eight-man band that SPIN Magazine calls “an equal opportunity dancehall crasher — part ‘60s keg rock, part 2Tone and part Motown.”

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