Churning out an infectious blend of ska, rocksteady and soul since forming in 1991, New York City's The Slackers are the grand old men of third-wave ska. Renowned for their energetic live shows, The Slackers never managed to ride the popularity wave of mid-'90s bands such as No Doubt or Sublime - a weird time for music if ever there was one. Instead, The Slackers signed to punk label Hellcat Records and spent the better part of the last 22 years putting out album after album of faux-Jamaican goodness in between seemingly never-ending tours. Ska and reggae may not offer a lot of room for growth, but what The Slackers lack in variety, they make up for with consistency. With a sound firmly planted in 1960s Kingston, 1970s London and modern New York, The Slackers are the old friend you hope never changes. With Bums Lie and Jah Sun Rising. $15. Feb. 8, 8:30 p.m. Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. 704-358-9200.