Reel Big Fish’s powerful ska rocks Montreal

The clock was about to strike nine last Monday night when hundreds of people were already gathered inside the Metropolis, nervously drinking their beers and waiting Reel Big Fish to take the stage.

Not even neo-metal openers The Starting Line, with their powerful guitar stylings, could get the crowd going. It was obvious the people were anxious.

Finally, a few minutes before ten, the extravagant Californian ska sextet took the stage. Most of the crowd, who had been sitting all over the Metropolis, drinking and listening to the opening band, suddenly herded themselves towards the stage and a gentle mass movement began with the first songs performed by Reel Big Fish.

The madness, however, began on the third song with the anthem ‘Everything Sucks,’ whose quick and strong rhythm was accompanied by the thumping caused by the audience’s jumping.

The people kept on dancing like crazy, with hits from the band’s new album, Cheer Up! (2002), such as ‘Valerie,’ whose lyrics were slightly altered so that it was dedicated to The Starting Line, and the song ‘Cheer Up.’

Then, gradually, the band calmed the crowd’s movement with their new song ‘Boss DJ,’ an excellent dub-influenced piece.

The sweat poured over the bodies that carried out a gentle movement.

Some people could be seen surfing above the crowd, carried by dozens of anonymous hands.

Then, a quick solo flew out of the band’s guitars and for a hundredth of a second the masses were paralyzed and suddenly the great explosion came. The solo was just the beginning of the Fish’s classic ‘Beer.’

From that moment the madness of the audience would not stop again.

Songs like ‘She’s Famous Now,’ from the album Why Do They Rock So Hard? (1998), and ‘She Has a Girlfriend Now’ from Turn The Radio Off (1996) kept the crowd jumping around the entire Metropolis.

Finally, the band finished their concert with the strong and excellent version of A-Ha’s 80s anthem ‘Take On Me,’ as well as ‘Sell Out,’ another of Fish’s classics.

For the encore the madness continued with ‘S. R.’ and ‘Trendy.’

Reel Big Fish demonstrated to be one of the leading bands of the American ska scene, giving an excellent concert in Montreal, where high music quality and energy were mixed.

The outcome was an awesome night.


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