One of the most buzzed about punk-heavy festivals Viva Ska Vegas returns to Backstage Bar & Billiards on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, 2020. Punk and ska fans will be slamming and moshing their way to Downtown Las Vegas to watch legendary headliner and Orange County resident Save Ferris take the stage. Additional bands on the lineup include Buck-O-Nine, Pilfers, The Untouchables, Unsteady, Chencha Berrinches and local groups The Retrolites and Muertos Heist. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the skankin’ starts at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $12 and commemorative merchandise can be purchased at www.vivaskavegas.com. Concert goers must be 21 years or older.
Save Ferris is a ska-punk band formed in Orange County, California in 1995. Their name is a reference to the 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Lead by the inimitable front-woman Monique Powell, the band enjoyed mainstream success in the late 1990’s with radio hits, constant touring and appearances on a variety of television shows and movies. The band released their debut EP Introducing Save Ferris on Powell’s own Starpool Records in 1996. They ended up selling close to 20,000 copies of their EP out of their trunks of their cars, thanks to loyal fans and huge support from Orange County independent record shops. That same year, Powell provided vocals on the Reel Big Fish song “She Has A Girlfriend Now” which skyrocketed. As favorites of KROQ radio’s legendary Rodney on the Rock, Save Ferris became a regular presence on LA’s KROQ radio. Later that year, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave the band a GRAMMY Showcase Award for best unsigned band, earning them a recording contract with Epic Records. Thank band released their debut full-length album in 1997 titled It Means Everything featuring several re-recorded tracks from the EP, several new songs, a cover of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen” which the band released as their first official single, and what was to become their most successful single. With two singles in the Billboard Top 100 and full rotation on alternative radios all over the world, It Means Everything went platinum internationally. After a thunderously successful main stage tour with the Vans Warped Tour, the band began writing their follow up to It Means Everything, the appropriately titled Modified. Released in October 1999, the album saw the band mix their ska-punk roots with pop-punk stylings.
Since forming in San Diego in 1991, the celebrated ska-punk-reggae septet have consistently performed live and have recorded albums combining elements of ska, reggae, rocksteady, metal and punk. Amazingly, their lineup also features six out of seven founding members as of March 2019. Buck-O-Nine, while a true band, is more of a family with a dynamic that is evident throughout their six albums and decades of live shows. The spirit, trust and camaraderie is present all over their innate ability to combine genres with ease while still maintaining their distinctive sonic identity. There aren’t many bands that can maintain a consistent lineup for 28 years, let alone continue to make new albums that sound as inspired as the band did during their early years. Thankfully, Buck-O-Nine have never been the type of band to follow conventions and their steadfast dedication to creativity is what makes them such a satisfying listen.
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