You are here
Home > MUSIC > CONCERT REVIEWS > Fishbone // Live @ Old Forester’s Paristown Hall // 8.26.23

Fishbone // Live @ Old Forester’s Paristown Hall // 8.26.23

Article and Photos by: Michael W. Bright


Louisville KY- Louisville’s Old Forester’s Paristown Hall played host to an iconic phenomenon that transcends generations. Fishbone, known for pioneering the fusion of punk, funk, ska, and metal proved that their music is as vibrant and relevant as ever. With frontman Angelo Moore leading the charge, the band launched into a relentless, incessant set of classic frantic Fishboners, and a couple remarkable bits from an EP released this past spring. 

Fishbone has undertaken their largest tour in over 10 years, demonstrating an unquenchable thirst for performance.  Speaking to authenticity, four of the original members make up the six-man outfit and as last Saturday night’s show demonstrated, its clear they’ve hit their stride.  Their signature sound, a rejoicing mélange of frenetic guitar riffs, plucky, pulsating bass lines, and ska-infused horns, reverberated throughout the full, high-ceilinged venue. Moore danced, skanked, played and sang, charismatically defying the laws of aging. Tracks like “Party at Ground Zero” and “Everyday Sunshine” among others, saw the band’s voices blending seamlessly, then comically clashing with Moore’s powerful and versatile vocals. 


What sets Fishbone apart is not only their musical prowess but also their lyrical depth. Songs like “Ma and Pa” and “Sunless Saturday” carry poignant social commentary, a testament to the band’s enduring relevance in today’s world. Their ability to blend social awareness with infectious rhythms speaks to their timeless appeal. “Estranged Fruit” from the new EP pays poignant homage to Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” weaving a modern narrative through a historical context. It reflects the Trump presidency by addressing racial and social divides, echoing Holiday’s protest against injustice. The song’s punk sensibility adds urgency, serving as a reminder that the struggle against systemic issues remains relevant in contemporary America.

Limbs across America,
might now bear a less strange fruit,
because hanging’s out of fashion,
when cops can justly shoot.”

The show was an impeccable display of cohesion while at the same time each member contributed their distinctive flair. John Norwood Fisher’s bass lines, Christopher Dowd’s interloping trombone blasts and Dirty Walter’s counter punctual trumpet flares added layers of complexity.  Newcomer Mark Phillips cautiously flashed some precision guitar work on some of the set’s heavier offerings like “Sunless Saturday,” a wise approach since that is certainly one of their best known and most successful songs.

Fishbone remains a force to be reckoned with. For this evening’s fans they are more than a band, they are a cultural institution and their legacy continues to shine. Fishbone is on the road until the end of November. For dates and all info Fishbone, click this link: 

Check the carousel below for more photos from the show.

Michael W. Bright
Michael W. Bright enjoyed a 30 year career in rock radio, both on the air and most notably as Program Director of seminal Alternative Rock icon WFNX in Boston. His first concert experience was Jefferson Airplane in 1967 and he hasn't gotten live music out of his system yet. He currently lives on a small farm in pastoral Pewee Valley, outside of Louisville, Kentucky with his huge family.