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Aquabats and Mealticket to return for Ska Patrick's Day fest in Provo

Quick, name two great things that go great together.

Most people's lists would start off with chocolate and peanut butter and descend from there. But in the case of many ska fans, that list might start with plaid clothing and their favorite danceable musical style.That kind of thinking (made popular by Boston punk-ska act the Mighty Mighty Bosstones) has already led to two "Ska Patrick's Day" concerts, including last year's four-day affair that featured nine touring acts and a dozen locals to boot.

The holiday tradition continues on Monday, March 17, as Provo's Club Omni, 143 W. Center, hosts the third annual Ska Patrick's Day concert.

A less-ambitious event than the near-overkill from the 1996 festivities, Ska Patrick's Day will include two Southern California acts - the Aquabats, the ska equivalent of early Devo, and Mealticket, a more punk-ska oriented group. Both bands also performed during last year's shows.

The Aquabats claim to be half-man, half-bat superheroes who hail from the fictional country of Aquabania. On top of the band's brisk and busy ska stylings, Aquabats shows have been known to include fire breathing, kung-fu fighting and mutant animals and insects, as well as an odd guest appearance or two (including the ghost of Col. Sanders!).

The Aquabats are still touring on the strength of their debut CD, "The Return of the Aquabats," which was released on the group's own label. The band is also fielding several offers from major recordings labels and is preparing to record an EP for Asian Man Records, the label owned by former Skankin Pickle frontman Mike "Bruce Lee" Park.

Like the Aquabats, Mealticket is also touring for a new CD, "13 Apologies."

Local acts the Pastry Bandits and My Gal Friday will also perform in the no-restrictions show, which will start at 7 p.m.

Advance tickets are $10 and are available from Crandall Audio in Orem, Raunch Records and the Heavy Metal Shop. The show is a Ska-Quel production.