Reel Big Fish is the musical equivalent of quitting your day job, throwing on whatever clothes happen to be most convenient and then throwing a big middle finger to the world as you do what you love. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for Reel Big Fish.
The fusion of ska and punk can be a recipe for disaster, but if you sprinkle enough Hawaiian shirts, mohawks, polos and pommade into the mix like Reel Big Fish it can only end one way – the sweat of 1,300 die-hard fans pummeling your senses. The black and white color scheme plastered all over the glasses and the guitar straps and the backdrop is more than just the ubiquitous checkered pattern associated with punk and ska, it’s the vibe of the audience as well. There was no gray area at the show. No “liking” Reel Big Fish. Since there were more people surfing than your average tropical beach, and more than one person was literally swimming in sweat, it’s hard to say that it was anything less than excellent.
While they’re all talented musicians in their own right, Reel Big Fish doesn’t exist as component parts – even if Aaron Barrett is the only remaining original member. The fish don’t really break out of their small pond until they start playing together, but when they do the musical Frankenstein they create with their horns, strings, drums and vocals is a riotous sight to behold. And even though their most iconic song is, has and always will be “Sell Out,” it’s hard to picture any of the guys in this band doing anything other than whipping fans of all ages into a frenzy while showing off sweet mutton chops.