Ska shows for me are hard. I’ve had a lot of mixed experiences with them, some great, some really bad. As a kid who generally prefers to see shows in basements and dive bars, going to big venues these days is also annoying to me as well. So when I decided that I really wanted to see Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger, Big D and the Kids Table and Suburban Legends on the Summer of Ska Tour, I was nervous. You may be wondering, “Tyler, how in the hell is this a gamble? All those bands are fantastic!” You’re right, they are, but generally the fans can piss me off. A lot. No one keeps dancing pits open, or some jackass kid who has been to two shows in his life decides that hate push moshing during a skanking section is a great idea. Despite all my preconceived notions, I had such a good time, because frankly each and every band of the night killed it.
Suburban Legends is always a fun band to watch. While I am not necessarily a huge fan, I’ve seen them two or three times and they were a good time. Hit of the night was obviously their cover of a song from Lion King, and for those who aren’t familiar, the band used to be a band who played on Disney Cruises. Imagine that. Big D and the Kids Table was up next, and they always have a special place in my heart. The band was the first group I ever crowd surfed to, and this was my third time seeing them, and again they brought that punk attitude to ska music that I fell in love with the first time I saw them. The Boston ska-punks made me feel at home as the singer encouraged security guards to relax and let kids mosh and crowd surf more due to the 930 Club generally being a little overbearing with their security. It was a nice touch for sure. Ska-punk legends Goldfinger were one of the bands I was worried about frankly. They have been around for a long time, and sometimes with bands like that they tend to get relaxed and generally boring on stage because they have gained a certain level of what I sometimes call “stage apathy.” This was not the case. Goldfinger was explosive, engaging, and put on an absolutely incredible live show. I was blown away by their performance, and it reminded me why I’ve liked the band for a long time. Great band, funny, and they really knew how to throw a party.
For those of you who have never seen Reel Big Fish live, you should run out and see them as soon as possible. The band is wild, fun, and know that sometimes you just need to have a good time. A lot of bands in the scene take themselves too seriously, and Reel Big Fish know that you just need to loosen up. With crazy outfits, jokes a plenty, and cover songs, Reel Big Fish reminds you why Summer is the time to listen to ska. Everyone in the band looks like they are having a fantastic time, and that definitely translates to the crowd as well as everyone has a smile on their face as they dance around the crowded 930 Club. This was my second time seeing them, and while they still do the same hilarious skits, it hasn’t gotten old. I don’t listen to ska all the time, but I’ve found myself since this tour listening to it a lot more, because I realize how much it has to offer. There are so many different styles that you can delve into, and Reel Big Fish did a great job of putting a tour together that embodies so many of these different styles.
Written and Photographed By: Tyler Osborne
If you want prints of any of the pictures, email Tyler at email@example.com and he can sell you some really cheap. Like, basically you’re only paying for shipping + materials cheap.