The Mighty Mighty Bosstones celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘Let’s Face It’ and bring new music to the Regent Theater this week

After receiving a tremendous response at the inaugural two-day Back to the Beach Festival at Huntington State Beach back in April, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will return to the area to headline the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Friday night.

This time around, the band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its popular fifth studio album, “Let’s Face It,” by playing the release from front to back. The band has been playing the anniversary shows around the country since mid-2017 and after West Coast fans demanded a local performance, the nine-piece ska band from Boston happily obliged.

“It’s a great tour because when the nine of us get together and we go around to places where people are excited to see us and we show up on stage and everyone is happy we’re there, it’s a lot of fun,” vocalist Dicky Barrett said during a recent phone interview as he was prepping for his duties as the announcer of the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show, which tapes in Los Angeles. “Playing this album specifically was kind of difficult because there are songs that we never even considered playing live before and we wanted to do those justice and didn’t want them to suffer, so that was a little bit harder. But, we wanted to make it feel like you were listening to the album except that we were standing right in front of you.”

  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will headline the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, June 29. (Photo by Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer)

    The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will headline the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, June 29. (Photo by Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer)

  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will headline the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, June 29. (Photo by Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer)

    The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will headline the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, June 29. (Photo by Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer)

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  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will headline the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, June 29. (Photo by Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer)

    The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will headline the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, June 29. (Photo by Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer)

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One of the highlights of each of these shows is undoubtedly when the band cues up the fourth song on the record, its massive ’90s hit, “The Impression That I Get.”

“The thing I’m happy about with that song is that when I hear it now, it doesn’t bum me out,” Barrett said. “I don’t sit there and go ‘Oh, yeesh.’ I’m proud of it. With all due respect to the Baha Men, it’s not ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ or a song like ‘I’m Too Sexy’ where you go ‘Eh, Gosh, why did I …? It was a different time!’ I think ‘The Impression That I Get’ holds up and it doesn’t sound bad to me now. I think it’s a good, strong song so it’s a bit of a bullet dodged because certainly writing a song like ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ isn’t beneath me either, so that could have happened. Once again, no offense to the Baha Men.”

On top of celebrating the anniversary of “Let’s Face It,” the Bosstones also dropped their first new album in seven years, “While We’re At It,” on June 15. Though the focus of the Regent gig will be “Let’s Face It,” Barrett said the band will also play a few new songs and other fan favorites.

The latest record is the final chapter in a trilogy that includes 2009’s “Pin Points and Gin Joints” and 2011’s “The Magic of Youth,” which were, along with the newest record, produced by Ted Hutt. Barrett said when it came to writing the lyrics, he stuck with what he knew and wrote about current issues and some political and cultural topics in particular that were bothering him. As ferocious as some of the content comes across, there’s a light at the end which is something Barrett said is a common theme in the Bosstones’ discography.

“I’m far from throwing in the towel and washing my hands of everything,” he said. “As you get older, it’s tempting to do sometimes … but the truth of the matter is that there is always hope and tomorrow, or even the rest of today. Quite simply without hope, there’s no hope so if given the choice, I’ll take hope over no hope any day. It’s hard sometimes, but we don’t bury that hope in the sand because then we wouldn’t be true to ourselves. We’re not dumb guys. We might look like it and sometimes even sound like it, but we’re not. We’re not blind to what’s going on in the world today.”

Ska music is perfect for trying times like these, Barrett said, noting that a festival like Back to the Beach, which was curated by Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann and Blink-182 anchor Travis Barker, was an important one as it included a mix of ska acts from legends such as L.A’s Fishbone to the up-and-coming artists like ska punk band The Interrupters, which also hails from Los Angeles.

“They put together a really terrific event from top to bottom and I loved being a part of it,” he said. “When you look at it on paper, you’re kinda like, ‘Is that too much ska?’ But it wasn’t.”

Barrett fell in love with ska music the first time he heard Madness and he’ll argue ’til the death with anyone who doesn’t agree that The Specials are one of the greatest bands ever.

“I’m so tired people spouting off about whether ska music is important or not and I take offense to that because I’m passionate about it,” he said. “Since I first heard ska music, I was passionate about it. It has a tremendous message and it sounds great, so if anyone has a problem with that, then they should just stop listening to music all together. Go away, please. I’ll go as far as to say that is a problem with the modern world is that everybody has an opinion and now they have somewhere to give it. I miss the old days when everyone didn’t have a Facebook page, a Twitter account or an Instagram account. Some people, we’re just not supposed to hear from them.”

For the Bosstones, ska is just what happened to work its way into its sound as they were starting off as a band in the early ’80s.

“It had the energy and the intensity of punk rock, but you could dance to it and it wasn’t stupid,” he said. “It wasn’t just dumb dance music, it was people saying thoughtful things about the things they cared the most about whether it was life in the city or things they wanted to change, they had a voice and had something to say so it just made sense to us making music back in Boston.”

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

When: 7 p.m. Friday, June 29

Where: The Regent Theater, 448 S. Main Street, Los Angeles

Tickets: $23.50 in advance or $30 day-of-show at Ticketfly.com 

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