The seventh annual Los Angeles Skacore Invasion took place last Saturday in Silver Lake. The one day festival mainly featured Southern California bands, both amateur and veteran, but also played host to several prominent international acts, including Mexico's Sekta Core and Royal Club. The graffiti lined warehouse complex where it was held, called MadAve Grounds, accommodated about 1000 diehard ska fans.
Twenty bands were featured on two stages for this all-ages event, and no alcohol was sold, which might explain why there were only a few run-ins between fans and security. The smaller stage, Cage Platform, hosted the day's younger acts, and a metal cage actually served as a barrier between the bands and the audience. Skank circles frequently formed outside of it, impressive in their scope and wildness. Erratic body movements and light pushing would spring up as the music began, growing in intensity over the course of a song, but rarely would anyone dance aggressively to the point of causing physical harm to a fellow reveler.
Highlights from this stage included Ekolekua, Hub City Trash and Masturbo. Ekolekua, a five piece ensemble out of East LA, interpreted ska through electronic and metal lenses. Compton's Hub City Trash drew heavily from a garage rock influence and incorporated traditional Mexican touches. The stage's final act, Masturbo, delved into the realms of dub and psychedelia, nonetheless inducing the crowd to slam dance.
The main stage was located at the front of the warehouses' largest section, and fans packed the space to the brim. Around 5 PM, the crowd began to pick up for La Resistencia's performance, and it continued to grow in number and intensity until close.
A string of five acts followed, which left the crowd exhausted and nearly deaf. Royal Club of Mexico City, going strong since 1994, exploded into their set. Lead singer Rafael Montoya's use of accordion allowed them to mix traditional Mexican styles with hard core punk.
Riverside ska veterans Voodoo Glow Skulls had some sound issues at the beginning of their set, but front man Frank Casilla's lucha libre mask and hyped up stage presence compensated for any technical mishaps. Their cover of "I Wanna Be Like You" from The Jungle Book was raw yet tightly executed.