Author: Joshua Moser
Reel Big Fish brought Madison its own little slice of Orange County this past Sunday by showcasing their iconic brand of goofy 3rd wave ska at the Majestic. The stage was taken first by their drummer, who laid down a fast-paced beat that had the crowd waiting in anticipation. He was soon joined by the rest of the band, wasting no time in going into their first song, a memorable ska cover of the 80s song “Take On Me” by A-ha. The show was filled with Reel Big Fish classics, hilarious stage banter, and more than a few ska-tastic covers of popular songs that had the crowd singing and laughing at the same time.
Some of the Reel Big Fish originals that were performed included; “In The Pit”, “Where Have You Been”, “Beer”, and “Trendy”, which undoubtedly gave the fans what they came to see. The show also included many fun covers like Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl”, Smash Mouth’s “All-Star” and The Offspring’s “Self-Esteem”.
Reel Big Fish is unique in their ability to get the crowd excited, which was definitely showcased Sunday night. The band’s trumpeter and primary crowd hype-man “Johnny Christmas” always seemed to have a funny gesture or gimmick to keep the crowd laughing and involved with the performance. In the latter part of the show, singer Aaron Barrett also brought his dog “Walter” on stage, whose name many dedicated fans had already been chanting.
The show was closed out with a lively four-song encore, which left the crowd out of breath and out of energy from a night packed full of groovy ska and fast-paced punk. This show and crowd turn out surely confirmed that ska, at least for now, is definitely not dead.