“Daddy-O’s getting pissed off”
Its Saturday, 1:50 PM and I’m in Charlotte sitting next to Jennifer and everyone in the living room is playing on his laptop. We appear to be a bunch of geeks. Jenn’s editing some photos, Greg’s doing homework, and me? Well, I do not have anything I HAVE to do, so I figured I would talk about one of the best moments of my life.
You see, just two days ago, Jenn and I drove to Myrtle Beach. Well, I drove, but she was in the car, and it was in fact her car, so, ok, that’s beside the point. The reason behind our journey was simple: Reel Big Fish. House of Blues.
The two of us are big fans of what many consider to be the best band from the Third Wave of Ska, and missed our opportunity to see them over the summer. The current tour is Reel Big Fish with Streetlight Manifesto, Westbound Train, and Suburban Legends. There was a show on November 28th at Tremont Music Hall here in Charlotte, but I was supposed to have a jazz ensembles concert (which was cancelled, by the way). The obvious choice now was to skip lots of class and waste nonexistant money on a trip to Myrtle Beach on Nov 30th. Hell YAH!!!!!
The doors opened at 6:30, but Jenn and I had been waiting since 6:00 so we could get a good spot. We did. We were on the “front row” stage left. All we had to do was kill an hour of time just standing there waiting for Westbound Train to go on at 7:30.
After an hour or so of “Twenty Questions” and listening to high schoolers yell and scream, Westbound Train took the stage. The band consisted of a vocalist, keyboardist, tenor saxophonist, trumpeteer (?), guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Reggae and original ska were a heavy part of this group’s style, and though the songs started to run together, crowd interaction was a strong point of this band’s show. Check out “I’m No Different” from their MySpace page.
The next group, Suburban Legends, put on quite a show. This band was a little bit smaller, with only a singer, guitarist, bassist, drummer, and two horns (trumpet and trombone). As for music, it was a healthy mix of disco/ska/punk. The two horns had microphones attached to their horns, allowing the two of them to dance and move about on the stage. It was basically like watching a Motown version of a ska band, because the moves were choreographed and each song had its own dance moves. Song topics were all about dancing and girls, except for the last one, which was a cover of the Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea”. Check out “Hey DJ” from their MySpace page.
Now for the meaty part of the show….
While Reel Big Fish was the main draw for the trip, I was extremely exciting about seeing Streetlight Manifesto as well. I’ve been really into Streetlight since Justin sent me their CD earlier this year, and seeing them live was something I’ve always wanted to do. Their performance as basically a showcase in horn playing, as the Bari, Tenor, Bone, and Trumpet all were incredibly talented and the group played extremely tight together. The band has many songs that include lyrics the crowd loves to sing. The audience really got into it when Streetlight played “Keasbey Nights”…
When they come for me I’ll be sitting at my desk
with a gun in my hand and bulletproof vest
saying “my my my, how the time does fly
when you know you’re gonna die by the end of the night, say ‘hey.'”
The show up to this point alone was almost too much to handle, and I had a hard time believing that Reel Big Fish was still to come. Regardless, check out “Everything Went Numb” from S. Manifesto’s purevolume webpage.
After Streetlight finished, the curtain was closed. The crowd started to push towards the front row and the anticipation was growing with each second as the occasional sound of the band “warming up” would come through the curtain.
The large quilt hiding the band was pulled back and there before us stood Reel Big Fish, and the crowd went nuts as the band started the show with “Trendy”. RBF’s make up is as such:
Aaron “Daddy-O” – Lead Singer/Guitar
Scott “Grandpa Skeeter” – Backup Vocals/Guitar, Trumpet
Matt Wong – Bass
Dan “BoggleMe” – Trombone
Johnny Christmas – Trumpet
Rabbit – Drums
Aaron was the only one wearing any special outfit, because his pants had zippers all over, and they were quite bright white. Scott was looking (and acting) like a crack addict out there scratching his beard and playing with his buttons. The only other thing worth noting is that Matt Wong was looked pissed off and barely moved at all. According to Aaron, it was a hangover. The band was up to its usual antics, calling eachother names and engaging in conversations with the audience, though it did seem that at points Aaron was actually pissed off at Scott, but I think its part of an act.
Some songs played include: The Setup, Don’t Start A Band, Beer, Drinkin’, Enter Sandman, Take On Me, Say “Ten”, I Want Your Girlfriend, and of course, Sell Out.
The show was incredible, and the band played extremely well together, even if Aaron did mess up on Drinkin’ and confused the lyrics to the beginning of Where Have You Been….twice. Seriously, they started the song, and Scott stopped them to talk about the lyrics confusion. They started over and once again Aaron messed up the words. The crowd, of course, helped him remember the next time they restarted.
As far as concerts go, the only one I’ve ever been to that might rival this one is incubus, but even then, I wasn’t front row for incubus, and the crowd wasn’t very involved with that show. In all, the only things missing were A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way and Jenn throwing a bra onto the stage during Don’t Start A Band.
I’d definitely recommend going to see them live if you have a chance!