By Trina-Jo Pardo
The band Save Ferris from Orange County, California attracted new and old fans when they played to a packed house at Trees in Deep Ellum Feb. 16. The ska-punk band made an epic comeback after 15 years off the tour bus — the same day they released their new, six-song EP “Checkered Past.”
Eager fans crowded near the stage and patiently waited for trumpets and trombones to play. As anticipation grew and the first notes filled the room, the crowd pushed closer to the stage. Opening with a crowd favorite, the 1997 single “The World is New,” lead singer and frontwoman Monique Powell took the stage in a fitted pink-and-black, zebra-striped blouse and a black pencil skirt. A girl with a blue mohawk bounced up and down in the middle of the crowd while others joined in, dancing and raising their arms toward Powell and the band.
The setlist featured songs from the band’s new album coupled with hits from its previous records. The band even played its song “I Know,” once featured as a cameo in the hit ’90s movie “10 Things I Hate About You.”
Powell had a quick onstage costume change revealing a baby blue satin dress, which was an excellent way to break up the set without leaving the stage. In what seemed like a slip-up, the lead singer repeated one of her songs. Soon after, she apologized to the crowd, blamed it on having one too many drinks before the show, and continued on with the set. Powell continued the night with va-va-voom dance moves and microphone stand tricks.
Regardless of the band’s new album drop, the show felt more reminiscent than like a “new beginning.” Even with the addition of its new single “New Sound,” which embodies the slow vibes often felt in reggae music, the band didn’t portray that it was coming back for good — only that is was coming to say “hello.” The band’s long hiatus was probably for the better.
Comebacks are great, but Save Ferris’s lack of adaptability to new music trends is one of the reasons ska music faded out in the 90s.
Of course, the much-awaited ballad “Come On Eileen” finished out the evening. The band’s version of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen” is regarded as one of their most successful and popular songs. Save Ferris continues to be a source of 90s nostalgia, evident in their performance in Dallas. The band will continue its tour across the U.S. through the end of March.