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Fishbone + Jackmove + Brass Against @ Shakas Live, Virginia Beach, VA

Norfolk, Virginia (November 8, 2018)Located one block over from the popular Virginia Beach oceanfront, Shaka’s Live is the venue for tonights live entertainment featuring the legendary rock, ska, soul group Fishbone appearing with their original lineup of Angelo Moore – saxophonevocals, John Bigham – guitar, Walter A. Kibby II – trumpetvocals, John Norwood Fisher – bassvocals Philip “Fish” Fisher – drums, and Christopher Dowd – keyboardstrombonevocals.

Virginia Beach’s very own Jackmove is opening tonight with their masterfully fun punk rock, reggae, ska flavor.

This is my first time seeing Jackmove and they put on an unbelievable show. From the first song to the last, this powerhouse of entertainment keeps engaged with the crowd with its brass, guitar, bass and drum filled energy.  Jokingly stating at one point, “We haven’t played in a while but really we wanted to play this show so we could get in to see Fishbone for Free.” … another member stated, “If it wasn’t for the  The Reality of My Surroundings record this band probably wouldn’t exist.

Jackmove © Ken Penn
Jackmove © Ken Penn
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Influenced by the genres of Ska, Reggae, and Punk, each song had the crowd psyched for more dance tunes. Jackmove clearly had fans in the crowd raising their beer filled glasses as the band rocked on. The crowd was bouncing and skanking to the beat of the local favorite. Eazy D the bands guitarist and lead vocalist requested a circle pit before one of their more thrash sounding tunes. The crowd responded with more activity though not fully reaching circle pit status. The musical talent stacked up in this band, shows the reason their fans enjoy them.

Trombones where being spun on their ends on the floor and used to act as guitars while the rest of the band did their thing. Toward the end of their set Easy D said, “This one goes out to my Mom”, as the crowd cheers.

Jackmove has been around since the early 2000’s and has had various changes of members throughout the years but with the foundation of  its core members they have kept their sound and fan base a solid part of Virginia Beach.



There is a bit of a pause in the show as the stage is reset for Fishbone. All of the microphones and instruments have to be tested by the stage crew before the band hits the stage. The crowd here at Shaka’s Live is growing restless and people are starting to yell out Fishbone!

Suddenly, the band begins to enter stage left.

Adorned in a blue plaid suit and white fez like hat. Singer/sax player, Angelo Moore grabs his sax and smiles toward the crowd.

The show jumps off from get go with the soulful rock filled energy the Fishbone is known for.  Angelo plays his sax into a lower microphone located by his main mic at the front of the stage and I am feeling the study shake of the crowd dancing and singing along behind me.

Bassist, John Norwood Fisher, lays down the grooving bass lines as Christopher Dowd is slinging his rotating keyboard around the stage like it’s a guitar. Never missing a note, he switches between stroking the keys and grabbing the mic as he sings his lyrics.

Fishbone formed in 1979 in Los Angeles, California performing a mixture of punk, ska, soul and rock.

The dancing going on inside Shaka’s Live is intense.  Fishbone’s song Bonin’ in the Boneyard has the entire play swaying to the beats of the bands drummer Philip “Fish” Fisher.

Got this feeling…
Got this feeling…
Got this feeling…

Oh ! I’ve got that feeling from the ocean yeah ! It’s alright, yeah !

Seeing Angelo dance along to the songs and then spin around a full-blown theremin is a unique part of the show. Shuffling his hands in somewhat of a dance slash martial arts routine made the theremin create its high pitched electronic sound waves along with the rhythm of the songs.

“Fuck Racism!”, was a chant Angelo got the crowd screaming at one point. Along with a few statements about what he thought about President Trump between songs, the band still has its roots in the social commentary that they have always been known for.

Fishbone © Ken Penn
Fishbone © Ken Penn
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The set consisted of some of Fishbones most iconic songs.  Everyday Sunshine, Question of Life, Ma & Pa and the always rememberable song “UGLY” from their 1985 Columbia Records self-titled album.

Boy you’ve got no method to control us all
For the mentalities are not that small
And now you’re thinkin’ that you have won
But the revolution has just begun!

U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, you’re just ugly
Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, you’re just ugly
U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, you’re just ugly
U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, you’re just ug, ugly ugly

There is not a song that Fishbone plays that the crowd is not bouncing and singing along to. I was ‘pogoed’ on for way too long during the band’s song “Alcoholic” by a what seems to be a very inebriated fan, but it was great to see him and everyone else enjoying the band.

Well…my uncle is a ‘Holic’ and he down a
pound of Whiskey of Whiskey! With an Eight
for a chaser, spit it on the bouncer, bouncer
kicked his ass and he lost a girlfriend with a

big soul kitchen Now he’s layin’ in the gutter
like a skid row bum Skid row bum style

Ohh Alcoholic
Ohh Scotch and 800
Ohh make you scratch the record
Ohh burn the spaghetti

During the performance of “Sunless Saturday”, one of Fishbones biggest hits from their 1991 album  The Reality of My SurroundingsI am reminded of the video that got a lot of play on MTV at the time filled with punk distorted metal guitar and a soulful chorus that featured the band playing inside of fenced cages and Angelo wearing a stretch jacket at one point.

I see the pestilence outside my window
I see the dung heaps piled at least a mile high
I see the shards of shattered dreams in the street
I face the morning with my customary sigh

I hear the sounds of children laughing aloud
A stumbling wind has attracted quite a crowd
My breakfast finished now i brave the outside
But clouds have hidden all the warmth inside

Chase these clouds away
I hate this sunless Saturday

Coming back for an encore, Norwood says into the microphone. “Oh, we got a party up in here.” The band’s playful attitude throughout the performance is also a familiar part of Fishbone. Christ Dowd laughs as his pants are falling down multiple times throughout the set and at one point he just takes them off mid-song yet still wearing black long johns.

The stage becomes chaotic as some the band members are interchanging microphones and Angelo continues to jump into the crowd at times only to be delivered back onto the stage from on top of the crowd. The band’s stage crew has a busy time keeping instrument chords and mic stands in their proper place.

One of the trombone players from Jackmove appears on stage left at one point and was invited to play along with Fishbone. He rocked right along with them almost like it was rehearsed.

Fishbone is still one of the most entertaining bands out there and there are still dates being added to this tour. You can see them here: https://www.facebook.com/fishbonemusic/app/123966167614127/?ref=page_internal



Shakas Live:

Photojournalist: Ken Penn

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