Orange, where the next act up and here at Alternative Vision, we have a bit of a love hate relationship with them. We love their stuff on Cd but live they always tend to disappoint. This will be the third time I’ve seen them in as many years and for a band I’m not keen on it’s a bit much, but hey I get to go to lots of gigs so I can’t complain. The last time I saw them James Webb reviewed them and gave them 2/5 and tonight, I can’t say they were much better. They sound a bit better and maybe a smaller room suits them, they sound ok with nice crashing cymbals and nice guitar work, the vocals are quiet and need more volume to make it sound better, then again maybe it’s the lack of vocals that are making them sound good tonight. They still look odd and the singer is definitely a cross between Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance and John from You Me at Six but hey if they’re quirky and people like it, then fair enough but tonight people aren’t here to rock they’re ready to skank! Theyre set blends into one after about half way through and I just wanted it to be over. Overall a bit better than last time but still needs more work!
Reel Big Fish are one of my all-time favourite bands, they’re pure ska punk and I’ve seen them quite a few times before, the last though was probably about 8 years ago and tonight I get to see them again and relive my days gone by. The crowd are eager and start chants of “Lets Go Big Fish” to which guitars start pumping through the amps from back stage in time with the chants, then the chats stop and the theme to Superman pumps out and all 6 members walk out onto the stage. They stand still then pounce into action and play an early classic “everything sucks” which gets the crowd going crazy and everyone sings along, they continue to play great upbeat classics which keeps people skanking around for a good half hour with very little crowd interaction between songs, its an unrelenting wall of ska that everyone is happy with. They play Monkey Man and singer Aaran Barret proclaims “If you don’t know this song then you can Fuck Off!” They sound great, with sound levels perfect, the sound of the trumpets doesn’t overpower the guitar solos or the vocals and the bass and drums come through keeping up the beat. Reel Big Fish has had many a line-up changes over the years and the only members out of 6 still left from when I saw them are Aaran and Dan, but they still sound just as fresh as they did 20 years ago. This is proven by the crowd tonight, a sell-out crowd of old and young all coming together over a band that is older than allot the kids that are here.
They play a stonking set of 20 classics and covers and they all go down a storm, including hits such as “Where Have You Been” and “Beer” and end on “Sell Out” and the famous cover of Ah Ha “Take On Me” which wraps up this great night with a bang, the band performed great, they crowd loved it all. I won’t be waiting another 8 years before I see Reel Big Fish and I suggest that you don’t either!
5/5 Reel Big Fish