The Ska Is Dead 4 Tour may seem morbidly self-aware. After all, ska's third wave crashed at the turn of the millennium when Reel Big Fish went rock, Less Than Jake fired its horn section, and teenagers who once clung to the genre's levity found solace in emo's empathy. In reality, the tour's moniker is an ironic nod to the diehards that didn't trade their JNCOs in for girl jeans or swap their upbeats for breakdowns. In other words, it's a celebration of the genre's (literally) checkered past. And after the decadelong mainstreaming of emo, the Toasters' hyper-reggae, Voodoo Glow Skulls' damaged punk, Deal's Gone Bad's soulful rocksteady and Mustard Plug's irreverent sing-alongs feel oddly fresh — even gasping for air under six feet of figurative dirt.
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