Video still via Riot Style
Last night in Los Angeles, half of late-’80s ska-punk legends Operation Ivy — frontman Jesse Michaels and singer-guitarist Tim Armstrong — reunited on stage at a benefit concert headlined by The Specials to perform “Sound System,” one of their beloved band’s signature songs.
You can watch that full performance below via footage shared by YouTube channel Riot Style.
The duo’s appearance at the 2022 Musack Rock and Roll Carnival, a benefit for children’s music education with The Specials backed by Armstrong and The Interrupters, came amid increasing speculation of an Op Ivy reunion. The group, and its 1989 album Energy, were hugely influential to the third wave of ska that emerged in the ’90s.
Both Michaels and Operation Ivy drummer Dave Mello appeared on podcasts recently in which they expressed openness toward a reunion, according to Consequence. Bassist Matt Freeman went on to play with Armstrong in Rancid after the demise of Op Ivy in 1989.
The last partial reunion of the band onstage came in 2006, when Michaels joined Armstrong and Freeman onstage at a Rancid concert in San Francisco to perform Op Ivy’s “Unity” and “Sound System.” Michaels also went on to record the song “Living in a Dangerous Land” with Armstrong in 2013.
Here’s the video from last night’s mini-reunion:
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