Rx Bandits have always been one of my favorite bands to see live. Coming out of the short-lived 3rd wave ska movement with heavyweights such as Reel Big Fish and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, one would have expected them to suffer a similar fate once the music world decided it didn’t want to hear ska anymore.
Instead of folding, Rx Bandits worked to develop a more progressive sound, while maintaining the brass hardware (trombone, sax, trumpet) indicative to the ska genre. The horn-inspired prog rock was fantastic to see live, with the music lifting the crowd off their feet to dance, clap and sing along to the music. I made a point of seeing RxB every time they came to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I think the horn players weren’t happy with the direction the band was going because every year I saw them, they seemed to have one less horn player.
I saw them in Seattle at El Corazon, which is a dive reminiscent of OC’s Chain Reaction. The crowd was good, but pretty young and not that up on all their old numbers. The oddest thing was that at this show, they had forgone their last horn player, leaving the guitar players to play out the melodic horn lines. Not the best RxB show I’ve seen but a proper sendoff for a band that had been one of my favorites to see live over the last 5 years.
Here’s a great vid of them doing a little cultural diplomacy in Venezuela: