Reel Big Fish v. The Aquabats! at Capitol, Perth – Gig review and concert photos

December 12, 2010

Gig/Concert: Reel Big Fish v. The Aquabats! with The Resignators
Venue: Capitol Theatre, Perth Western Australia
Date: 7 December 2010
Headliners: Reel Big Fish
In one word: Pickituppickitup!

With both The Aquabats! and Reel Big Fish recently gracing Australian shores as part of the 2010 Soundwave Festival, it came as somewhat a surprise that they should both return later in the year for a co-headlining tour; but given the popularity of both groups with Australian audiences, it was indeed a welcome return.

Melbourne ska-sters The Resignators kicked things off, and although high in energy their performance was somewhat sloppy and in the case of trombonist Jono, off key for most of the night. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this band is that their guitarist Steve Douglas is formerly of US monster-punks GWAR and offered a degree of class to the band.

After a brief changeover, audience members were treated to a colour-filled cartoon countdown, signifying the imminent attack of The Aquabats! The interactive video display continued throughout the band’s highly entertaining set, with an instructional video on how to properly scream “whoa!”, as well as treating the crowd to a commercial break (of sorts) during the band’s tune up break and frequently demanding that the audience ” SCREAM!” when deemed appropriate compulsary by the MC Bat Commander. The set list included such gems as “Look at Me, I’m a Winner!”,  “Martian Girl”, “Pizza Day!” (featuring Scott Klopfenstein of Reel Big fish on trumpet, as it was hinted that he would shortly be leaving the band due to family commitments) and finished with the classic “Pool Party!”, complete with a barrage of beach balls sent flying into the crowd. Overall they presented a jaw-droppingly fun performance which managed to raise the eyebrows of those not heretofore familiar with the legend that is The Aquabats!

Ska veterans Reel Big Fish then burst onto the stage to deliver their trademark high-energy ska-meets-glam-metal live show. Tight as ever, one could not help but shake a sense of Déjà vu about the performance, given that it was in essence merely an extended cut of their Soundwave set from March. Indeed the similarities were abundant, with many songs ending on “shave and a haircut” as before, the same aborted cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” (itself covered earlier in the night by The Aquabats!), some eerily familiar stage-banter and ending the set with “Beer”. Even though at this stage Reel Big Fish are essentially a nostalgic touring act, it would have been nice to see a little more variety in this set.

Still, it is hard to fault guitarist/vocalist Aaron Barrett’s consistently high energy, entertaining stage presence and amazing wardrobe choices. Here’s hoping that if the band do continue to tour their hits, a few new tricks are thrown into the trombone-case next time around.

Reel Big Fish Setlist:
Sell Out
Another F U Song
Thank You For Not Moshing
Kiss Me Deadly
Ban The Tube Top
Everything Sucks
The Bad guy
The New Version of You
Where Have You Been?
Snoop Dog, Baby
Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
Good Thing
I Hate Your Guts
A Place Called Perth
She Has a Girlfriend Now
You Don’t Know What It’s Like
bass/drum solos
Don’t Start A Band
Enter Sandman (Metallica)
The Set Up (You Need This)
Highway to Hell (AC/DC) (aborted)

© Steve Pass, Music Vice

Related links:

The Resignators – Official Website
The Aquabats! – Official Website
Reel Big Fish – Official Website

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