Friday, July 10, 2009

Concert Review: Reel Big Fish

Summerfest has come and gone, and with it the sweet, ska fueled sound of Reel Big Fish.

It is no secret that I think RBF is possibly the greatest band to ever live. This is a well documented fact. Despite this man-crush I have on Aaron and the boys, I will still give an unbiased review.

The concert was awesome! (how's that for unbiased?) I have seen RBF too many times to count in my life. I was at this show with Reid, Mrs. Reid, and another friend we'll call CPA. Reid has also seen RBF a number of times. We both came away from this show completely satisfied and spent.

The start to a Reel Big Fish show is always interesting. They have a few standards that they like to open with, "Alternative, Baby" being one that I have seen them open with a couple of times, but usually it's kind of a crap shoot. When you have so many songs that would make great openers, it is hard to pick one. This time they decided to open with one of their more popular songs, their cover of "Take On Me." We all know this song from Baseketball and this is the song that probably opened up RBF to a larger audience. It was a song in a movie and a cover. That usually broadens your fan base a little bit. It was a good opening number and set the show off on the right foot.

Every RBF show is different, and this one was no exception. They played the songs you would expect to hear like "She Has A Girlfriend Now" and "Beer," but they really dug deep for this show. They played songs that I have either never heard them play before or that they haven't played for a very long time on tour. They played "You Don't Know" off of the Why Do They Rock So Hard album. This is probably the first time I've heard this in concert since just after that album came out. And I'm not even sure when they played it before that. It might the first time ever that I've heard it live. They pulled out a couple others like this when they played "I'm Her Man" off of their Monkeys For Nothin' And the Chimps For Free album as well as "The New Version of You" off of the same album which I had only heard once before. Although, this is only the 2nd or 3rd time I've seen them since that album has been out.

RBF played up a fan favorite when they did their many styles of "S.R." (Suburban Rhythm). If you've seen them before you know they play this song in their normal style and then switch it up by playing a punk rock version, country version, blues version, death metal version, emo version, disco version, and old school hip-hop version. The added bonus this time around was in their explanation. They said that they were masters of all musical styles. Whenever Aaron said masters, Ryland on the drums and Derek on bass would play a bit from the Metallica song, "Master of Puppets." It was a simple, "Master, Master," but it was hilarious. Scott then even got in on the action. They then played every version listed above except the emo version. Oh well.

Their encore was great too. They came out playing the soccer chant song thing (you know, Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole... whatever) and then went in to "Another F.U. Song." I was really glad to hear this song. It was my pick to open the show, but at least they played it. They then played a couple more and ended with "Sellout."

This was a great concert, but of course there are things I wish they would have done. I'm still waiting to hear them play the three songs they re-recorded from the Everything Sucks album, "Why Do All Girls Think They're Fat," "Hate You," and "Call You." These songs appeared on the Monkeys album and I have always loved these songs. I also wished they would have played one of my all-time favorite songs, "The Set Up," but I have heard them play it several times before.

All in all, I have nothing to complain about. It was probably the best way I can think of to end a mediocre Summerfest line-up. I'm not thinking we'll get Less Than Jake at next year's fest. That would seem to be the way we are trending based on the past.

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