Voodoo Glow Skulls & Mustard Plug @ Granada Theater, Dallas

Not all ska bands are created equal. There is first wave, second wave, third wave, and fourth wave ska. While Mustard Plug and Voodoo Glow Skulls were started three years apart from each other (Voodoo Glow Skulls in 1988 and Mustard Plug in 1991), their brands of ska couldn’t be more different and that was apparent at the Granada Theater.

Walking into the Granada Theater, the first thing you noticed was that there were a lot of children in attendance. When I say children, I don’t mean high schoolers either; I mean there were kids who couldn’t have been above elementary school age. A few songs into the Mustard Plug set, it was apparent who they came to see. It makes sense; Mustard Plug’s mixture of poppy ska tunes with their cartoon mustard bottle mascot (who did make an appearance on stage) would appeal to children. Watching fathers trying to teach their kindergartner to skank was quite endearing. For their part, Mustard Plug delivered the fun as well. Every member of the band looked like they were having the best night of their lives on stage. The fun they were having was palpable in the room as lead singer Dave Kirchgessner reminded the crowd “ska music is dancing music.”


Something you might not have noticed when walking into the Granada Theater was the large Mexican contingency in the crowd. A few songs into the Voodoo Glow Skulls set, it was apparent who they came to see. It makes sense; Efrem Schulz, the lead singer since 2017, appears on stage in a lucha libre mask, donning a brightly colored poncho. Children (and to a lesser extent their parents) seemed much less excited to see the band. Their brand of “ska” is inspired by 80s California hardcore and punk. It is a lot less fun-loving and more message-based with a fair amount of profanity.


Most of the Glow Skulls set consisted of songs from their latest album, Livin’ the Apocalypse which makes sense since it is the only album to feature Efrem Schulz on vocals. They did mix in a fair amount from their much loved 90s albums Firme and The Band Geek Mafia. The crowd surfing was plentiful during songs like “Shoot the Moon” and “El Coo Cooi.” Ending the set on “Voodoo Anthem” from Steady as She Goes, the band took the shortest amount of time between the end of the last song and the start of the encore I have ever seen. They wrapped up a quick two song encore before disappearing into the frigid Dallas night.

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