Reel Big Fish - Nottingham Rock City 27/01/2010
Posted by bugrach on Tue, 02 Feb 2010.
A Reel Big Fish gig is chaos.
The band storm onto the stage to the Superman theme, covered in brightly coloured clashing clothes. Their lead, Aaron Barrett, takes the centre in his ska-uniform and the band starts belting out their particular brand of jumpy, toe-tapping fast music. The crowd roars into life, the band members jump around the stage and they don’t ever miss a note. Reel Big Fish have been doing this for a while and they are sharp. Complicated songs are made to look positively easy as the band works in perfect unison. John Christianson and Dan Regan pal around at the side, providing the horn section and a mini-show in their own right. Derek Gibbs stands quietly at the back next to Ryland Steen on the drums, the challenging rhythm section holding the group together. Scott Klopfenstein keeps to the right, constantly switching between trumpet, guitar and vocals. He banters with the fired up Barrett, leading at the front and playing the audience as much as he plays his guitar.
The songs come thick and fast, the band belting through set-pieces that have become famous: Ska cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, sung by the incredibly versatile Scott? Check. A lovely lady bought on stage to help on vocals for the hilarious “She has a girlfriend now”? Check, thanks to the lovely Laila Khan from Sonic Boom Six. The genre-busting epic that is “Suburban Rhythm”? Check, in both metal, and country versions.
Each member is given their own chance to shine as expected, although a shout has to go to Ryland for his epic show-stopping drum solo. It’s all what you expect from a Reel Big Fish gig. In our interview, Johnny states that the key to their success as a live band is that it’s not just a gig: Its entertainment. In this way band definitely succeed, they never put in less than 100%. They may not top the charts, or light up the mainstream, but Reel Big Fish put on a hell of a show. It’s what keeps the fans coming back, and converts new fans over. They may not be especially surprising, but you’ll always get your money’s worth, guaranteed. And I’ve you’ve never seen Reel Big Fish, I would advise you to go the next chance you get – If it doesn’t make you want to dance around like an idiot, you may just be dead.
This review was written by David Lamb, and the photographs were taken by David Lamb and Tim Crisp from Non Standard Productions on behalf of the Jitty.