Gig Review

Reel Big Fish
Suburban Legends
Birmingham, Academy 2

2nd March 2013

Reel Big Fish                    Suburban Legends

Photo Of Reel Big Fish © Copyright James DalyWhenever a Ska band is in town I look forward to seeing them, as there always fun and happy, which makes the gig an instant hit as there always going to get the crowd happy and bouncing, and tonight is no different as Reel Big Fish are back in town and its 10 years since I first saw them, so it makes it all the more exciting. But first up is the support and that is brought tonight by California ska band Suburban Legends.

Suburban Legends take to the stage in a burst of trumpets and dancing and jump straight into their first song Bright Spring Morning. They sound great, and the room take to them instantly, everyone is jumping and dancing even if they don’t know the lyrics. The band can’t stay still and every member looks happy to be there, even the drummer Ryan Steen, who is drumming twice tonight, as he is also Reel Big Fish’s drummer, and that turns means by the end of the gig he will have played 32 songs! Suburban Legends play a good set of 9 songs including 2 covers, 1 of which is a Disney cover of the Lion King song, Just Can’t Wait To Be King, which gets the crowd joining along with the high pitched vocals of singer Vincent Walker before ending their set list with another sing along to Queens, We Are The Champions. The crowd are all pumped up and are ready for the main act.

Photo Of Reel Big Fish © Copyright James DalyReel Big Fish, have been around now for 22 years and have had 19 different members, but the current line-up has been the same now on the whole for about 6 years which means they all work well and know allot of their back catalogue and so we can expect a great show from a seasoned band that play great Ska music. They take to the stage one by one with the brass section all dressed up funny, with masks and yellow costumes with singer/guitarist Aaron Barrtet taking to the stage last dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and white jacket covered in patches from Ska bands past and present. They stand in a line and blast into Everyone Else is an Asshole from their current album Candy Coated Fury, which gets the crowd moving up and down whilst singing all the words, this just shows that Reel Big Fish can still make new music that people love and don’t have to depend on their back catalogue to sell tickets, but they do have a 23 song setlist in store for everyone so they can include songs from each of their 7 albums. The setlist is made up of great tracks such as; Trendy, Everything Sucks, She’s Famous Now, All I Want Is More, A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way, I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too, Everybodyz Drunk, Sell Out, Your Guts(I Hate Them). The crowd are loving every second and they sound as fresh as tPhoto Of Reel Big Fish © Copyright James Dalyhey did 10 years ago. The levels are all good, and the words can be heard over the high sounds from the brass section. Early on in the set Aarons guitar strap breaks and his guitar falls to the floor, but instead of stopping and freaking out, seasoned Aaron, steps forward and grabs the mic and walks about the stage engaging with the crowd whilst his guitar tech takes to the stage and fixes things in time for the next song to start, most of the crowd wouldn’t have noticed this as it was done without any fuss, but this is why the band have been going so long, because they are pro’s. Because the setlist is so long Aaron doesn’t do too much talking in-between songs, he does introduce the other band members and does nice little intros to the songs but there’s nothing that stands out as really spontaneous which shows there is always a downside to doing this for 22 years, but it’s not a major one as the crowd are here to listen to the songs, not to hear Aaron talk. They continue their setlist with; Good Thing, Where Have You Been, Another F.U.Song, In The Pit, She Has A Girlfriend Now and Beer!

Photo Of Reel Big Fish © Copyright James DalyReel Big Fish prove again that they are amazing live, and will always put a smile on your face. They finish there amazing set with Monkey, Don’t Stop Skankin, SR and finally with their great cover of A-Ha’s Take On Me. They sounded great and are relentless with their Ska beats, they seem to have improved in the 10 years since I first saw them, and I hope they continue to get better with age and that they’ll be back around next year!

Suburban Legends 3.5/5
Reel Big Fish 4.5/5

Review By James Daly

 Reel Big Fish

Aaron Barrett
Dan Regan
John Christianson (Johnny Christmas)
Ryland Steen
Derek Gibbs
Matt Appleton

 Suburban Legends

Vince Walker
Brian Klemm
Tommy Lee
Brian Robertson
Brad Polidori
Aaron Bertram
Chris Lucca
Hulk Hogan

 Band Related Links
Reel Big Fish Facebook
Suburban Legends Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?