It was about time Reel Big Fish came back to Ohio after their last tour over the summer. The band brought out ska-favorites Suburban Legends and self-proclaimed “Greenland-based” band The Maxies. The Maxies opened the Cleveland date by running out in red and white sweatsuits, their faces covered by white masks that all gave characteristics to the people behind them. The band spoke with really strange accent which gave them an interesting “greenland-based” gimmick that they sang their songs with. The crowd reacted amazingly to the openers, singing along to whatever they were told to sing along to, whether it be an improvised song about someone in the audience that was earlier heckling the band, or a song about giving people “The Clap.” The band was fun and definitely put the crowd in the right mood for the rest of the night.
For Suburban Legends, it would be their last time playing the state of Ohio, as it is their last tour. The band entered with their song “Just Happy” to get the crowd started, and lead into “High Fives” which gave the original ska feel to the show, with loud bass lines and a rupturing horns section. The band is famously known for their covers, and of course they did not disappoint. Starting off with a heavy crowd hitter transition into”We Are the Champions,” the band also covered a couple Disney favorites like “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “Kiss the Girl.” Sure not to abandon the die-hard SL fans, the band of course played just as many hit originals like “Forever in the Friendzone” and “Bright Spring Morning.” The band kept the attention of the crowd strong their whole set, sending their beloved fans off with a ska-tastic bang.
When the main event appeared, man did they make an entrance. The band strutted on stage to “The Final Countdown” as their opening music – a dramatic appearance that the crowd ate up. Reel Big Fish popped the night off with huge hit “Everything Sucks,” to get the crowd wound up right from the start. The now nearly 25 year old band has always had great crowds and put on great shows in return and this night was no different. Playing more nostalgic hits even with songs like “Alternative Baby” and “The Kids Don’t Like It.” The band played hit after hit from various records and eras, playing one of their more famous songs, “Another F.U. Song,” from 2007. And as always, adding their wit and teasing to the crowd and each other. The bands upbeat energy carried through the whole venue as the horns played and crowd jumped and danced. Playing into a duet between sax player Matt and frontman Aaron with “She Has a Girlfriend Now” and later covering “Brown Eyed Girl.” Pausing slightly to “remember” what their hit song is, proceeding to play through songs by Nirvana, Lit, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones before playing their ironically named hit, “Sell Out.” The band left the stage long enough to keep fans on the edge and then finally entered out from the sides once more to play their top hits “Everyone Is An Asshole,” “Beer,” and ending with a dramatic cover of “Take On Me,” perhaps their most famous cover. The fans left the night feeling buzzed from the excitement and tired from the push-pit.
Remaining Tour Dates
Feb 20 – Reno, NV @ Cargo
Feb 21 – Fresno, CA @ Strummers
Feb 22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
Feb 23 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst