Reel Big Fish Makes A Beer Run Through Lincoln
By Aaron Vlasnik
July 6, 2016
July 5 is generally a day of recuperation. You’ve had your parties, your cookouts, and all your other 4th of July festivities behind you and now, you can relax.
That is, of course, unless you decided to go to The Bourbon Theatre.
Then, you were doing anything but recuperating. Chances were pretty good you were skankin’. More importantly, you were probably continuing consuming a certain beverage that you enjoyed during most of your 4th of July celebrations.
Third wave ska legends Reel Big Fish stopped by Lincoln for a stop on their Beer Run Tour. Bringing along with them the bands Tunnel Vision, The Queers, and The Expendables.
The lineup had a wide array of genres, which was very refreshing. A lot of bands tend to bring along other bands that sound just like them, assuming the crowd wants just one type of music played the entire evening.
Not the case with The Beer Run Tour.
Tunnel Vision, hailing from San Clemente, CA, brought the California surfer-vibe with them in full. The band, consisting of Hayden Hanson (guitar and vocals), Jacob Hernandez (bass), and Tanner Payne (drums), looked like surfers, sounded like surfers, and portrayed the stereotypical beach goer persona throughout the show. Playing songs similar to other reggae-rock-inspired bands like Sublime, Dirty Heads, and Slightly Stoopid. Tunnel Vision definitely personified the Cali rocker vibe.
The Queers, a punk rock band that has been around since 1981, looked like they could have been Tunnel Vision’s fathers, but also could kick their asses. The legendary punk band originally from the Northeast, is a 3 piece which includes drummer Hoglog, bass guitarist Cheeto Crash, and founding member, lead vocalist and guitar player, Joe Queer. The band played a healthy mixture of originals and covers, including The Ramones’ classic Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.
While Reel Big Fish was the headliner, a good majority of the crowd came to the show to see Santa Cruz, CA’s own The Expendables. A 4-piece band with a unique style and sound ranging from ska to reggae to punk and metal, The Expendables have a very serious following of fans and their shows do not disappoint.
The band takes great pride in being pro-marijuana and has a number of songs with weed as the subject at hand. Songs like ‘Ganja’ and ‘Bowl 4 2’, there is no denying The Expendables stance on marijuana legalization. The band is Raul Bianchi at lead guitar, Ryan DeMars on bass, Adam Patterson playing the drums and some vocals, and Geoff Weers on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. They are out on tour supporting their new EP, In This Moment.
One band that hasn’t released anything new in 5 years, just so happens to be the band headlining this Beer Run Tour.
Reel Big Fish may not have any new music out currently, they are, however, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their 1st major label album, Turn The Radio Off. With popular songs like “Sell Out’, ‘Everything Sucks’, and ‘Beer’, the band made sure to include a number of tracks from the album.
The band has been around long enough to have a number of great songs that seemed to have been made with playing live in mind for them. Songs like ‘I Want Your Girlfriend’ and ‘Ban The Tube Top’ had people dancing and enjoying themselves.
Reel Big Fish officially formed in 1992, but since then, there has been a number of members in the band that have come and gone, with lead singer and guitarist Aaron Barrett keeping it all going. He’s the only original member. Every other instrument has had at least 2 people perform and some instruments as many as 5 different members played for the band since the inception.
Regardless of who’s been in the band and for how long, the 6-piece currently on tour clearly is having fun and enjoys that they’re doing, day in and day out. Currently, Reel Big Fish’s lineup consists of Aaron Barrett at lead vocals and lead guitar, Billy Kottage on trombone, Johnny Christmas on trumpet, Ed Smoky Beach at drums, Derek Gibbs on bass, and Matt Appleton on saxophone. This current lineup has been intact since 2015.
One thing that has never gone away from a Reel Big Fish show is humor. The band tends to mock and take jabs at each other between songs. They also set up their biggest single by hinting at what it is before going into a different ‘90’s song.
“This is our biggest hit and we hope you enjoy it” Aaron Barrett announced to the crowd before going into ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.
Admitting that wasn’t a Reel Big Fish song, he then set up the song again before going into ‘My Own Worse Enemy’ by Lit. Barrett and the rest of Reel Big Fish would continue this and play their own renditions of ‘I’m Gonna Be’ by The Proclaimers and then ‘The Impression That I Get’ by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones before finally playing ‘Sell Out’.
The band was big into covers, as they’ve always been. Along with one verse or chorus from their 90’s songs, Reel Big Fish did play a full rendition of Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl and closing the set with their infamous cover of A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me’.
The show was entertaining, energetic, and to most of the crowd, who were in their 30’s, the show was reminiscent. Bringing back memories of junior high and high school for most.
The Beer Run Tour is stopping in 32 cities for performances as well as craft beer brewery visits and drinking games with fans, depending on the city and venue.
Aaron Vlasnik is the host of KZUM’s “Alt Night Long,” spinning two hours of modern and classic alternative music every Tuesday from 9 to 11 p.m. on KZUM.
July 6th, 2017