I was now covered in a variation of unpleasant fluids, only 5-10 percent of which were probably my own. That percentage was only likely to decrease in the following hour as well. This was one hell of an atmosphere, and it was only the second song of the night.
In our books, a Reel Big Fish gig was only going to go one of two ways. We would either turn up and do some skanking in amongst an aged, muted audience, or we would turn up, do some skanking, and get battered around by a crazed crowd dancing to the wonderful noises coming from the stage. We’re pleased to report that it was the latter that proved true... and then some.
They’ve got a cult audience – fans with bright blue hair, spiky jackets and Hawaiian shirts – and they know how to have a good party. RBF hardly have the most intellectual lyrics in the world; most of them are about swearing, beer or ex-girlfriends, but they have instrumental melodies and big solos that you just can’t help but dance too. They perform with so much energy and character that it’s impossible not to get involved.
After opening with a cover of The Final Countdown, RBF blasted out Everyone Else is an Asshole to loud cheers, singing and moshing around the packed out venue. It set the tone for the rest of the gig, which was entirely along the same lines. Reel Big Fish simply don’t let up. Every song is a dance-along, sing-along, foot-stomping party track.
Covers from Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit to Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing energised the crowd, and an encore which included Sublime’s Boss DJ lead into smash hit Beer after the chants of the audience. That was split up with another fantastically unexpected cover of The Offspring’s Self Esteem and paved the way for the big finale, Take On Me. A wonderful finish
The gig was everything you would want from a ska-punk showcase; the fun, the charisma, the energy, the madness. One of the most enjoyable experiences you can have in front of a live band.