Reel Big Fish, the ska-punk band from Huntington Beach, CA, has certainly lasted and surpassed the ska era to join forces with Anti-Flag for their Turn The Radio Off 20th Anniversary Tour.
The opening acts of the tour, Direct Hit!, Ballyhoo!, and co-headliners Anti-Flag certainly set the bar high bringing all they could to the New York City basement theater. With a crowd of nearly 500, the PlayStation Theater in Times Square had an amazing vibe and performances from all acts. Reel Big Fish took the stage with only one original member from the Turn The Radio Off album, lead singer and guitarist Aaron Barrett.
Despite being the sole member from that album era, the punchy ska vibes and short snappy songs were timeless. Leading off their set and staring me right in the camera was “I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too” and “Another FU Song,” where Billy Kottage (Trombone) hit me with the middle finger during the classic hit. Shortly after, my favorite song “Sell Out” played and the crowd graciously sang along. The show was nothing short of fun and upbeat. Silly antics throughout the set by Barrett made the crowd laugh over and over again.
Before wrapping up the 20 song set-list and four song encore, they covered “The Impression That I Get” by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Then, they performed their hit song “Beer” and finished it off with “Self Esteem” by The Offspring. They left the crowd hanging for a few minutes and continued with the encore of “I’m Cool, Everyone Else is an Asshole,” “Where Have You Been,” and at last “Take on Me” by a-ha, and was joined by former trumpet player Scott Klopfenstein who left the band in 2011 after the birth of his child and battling illnesses.
Overall, the whole night can only be summed up with one word: magical. If you’re in need of a great time and a few smiles, Reel Big Fish always brings that to the table. Basically, their show is a rolling frat-house on a stage.
They’re currently on tour until the end of February, so be sure to check the dates HERE, and get to a show.
DIRECT HIT! – Show Review Here
Ballyhoo! – Show Review Here
Anti-Flag – Show Review Here
Reel Big Fish is:
Aaron Barrett – Vocals, Guitar
Billy Kottage – Trombone
John Christianson (Johnny Christmas) – Trumpet
Ed Smokey Beach – Drums
Derek Gibbs – Bass
Matt Appleton – Saxophone, Vocal Harmonies