The 40 greatest concerts in Boston history: 20

Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros | the Roxy | November 22, 1999
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  October 25, 2006


Joe Strummer, circa 1999
The rise of platinum punks like Rancid in the ’90s didn’t embitter Strummer; it inspired him to record two great albums for Epitaph. He was in a celebratory mood when he returned to the States on this tour with his young Mescaleros. He stormed the stage, looking like the gangster rockabilly 101’er he’d once been, surrounded by young, brash players who were clearly in awe of their leader, and burned down the house. Of course, no one knew that Strummer would be dead in just a few years. In retrospect, that might have made this show just that much more special. But, to hear him dig back into the Clash’s songbook for “Rock the Casbah,” “London Calling,” and “I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)” was pure pleasure. No less so than hearing the new material, filled with the kind of apocalyptic poetry he brought to rock and roll with songs like “Straight To Hell.” It was both a coming-out party and a welcome-back celebration, as well as a way of acknowledging that without Joe we wouldn’t have Rancid, Green Day, and so many of the other neo-punks who have made a lot more green off their Mohawks than Strummer ever did.
40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26
25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
<< R.E.M. + Hüsker DüBeastie Boys >>

Were you there? Wish you were? Seen better? Tell us about it below.

Related: The 40 greatest concerts in Boston history: 21, Cowboy Mouth, Get Ready, Here Come... The '70s, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Pop and Rock Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MICHAUD FOR GOVERNOR  |  November 03, 2014
    However you’ve been following the race for Governor this election season, you’ve been hearing it from all sides, so we’ll make this one brief. We urge you to vote for Michael Michaud.
  •   ADVANCED BEAUTY LESSONS  |  November 03, 2014
    Described as a “body-positive visibility project,” Portland’s Jack Tar 207 is all about representation. Models are encouraged to bring their own clothing and personal belongings to the shoot, which owner-designer LK Weiss says brings out “a level of confidence that many people don’t feel in front of a camera.”
  •   LITERALLY LGBT  |  October 31, 2014
    A community-compiled list of important GBLTQ works through the years.  
  •   DEAR PROVIDENCE PHOENIX...  |  October 15, 2014
    Some made us chuckle, others made us choke up.
  •   BACK TO REALITY  |  September 18, 2014
    If you’re a student in southern Maine and are at all interested in arts and humanities, and have a budget of exactly $10 to spend on any one event, there’s a lot in your favor.

 See all articles by: PHOENIX STAFF