Back in 1994, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones threw a party for friends and family, a welcome home gala celebrating their return after a long spell on the road. Held over four nights and one day at Cambridge's small Middle East club, such a grand time was had by all, that the Hometown Throwdown became an annual event, a festive thank you for friends and fans alike. And where better to record a live album, than in the intimate setting of the Middle East, in front of an always enthusiastic Throwdown crowd? Thus, in 1997, the Bosstones recorded all five of that year's Hometown shows, picked the best of the batch, and stuffed 22 of them on to this scorching disc. The celebratory mood of the event is instantly infectious, and permeates the entire album, while the it's-so-live-you're-there-feel is fed by the band opting for the most exciting numbers (warts and all). So, this is the Bosstones at their roaring and raw best, slamming through a set packed with hits, crowd picks, and the band's own faves. Because these shows were labors of love and appreciation, lacking any of the normal pressures of stage shows, the band are able to relax and enjoy themselves, with their own joy fueling both the music and the crowds. The Bosstones always put on one hell of a show, but unless you've caught them at a Throwdown, you've never experienced the group at their most exhilarating. Now everyone has the chance to join in the celebration.
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AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene