Reel Big Fish / The Aquabats

Reel Big Fish / The Aquabats: live in Dallaslive in Dallas (2011)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: thegimperthegimper
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Bitterly sipping my $9 Coors Light at the House Of Blues, I was in a fine mood to hate the opening act, Koo Koo Kangaroo. They came on stage and they were ridiculous. Matching T-shirts with gold lettering, prancing around on stage and rapping about their disdain for PB&J's with the crust still aroun.

Bitterly sipping my $9 Coors Light at the House Of Blues, I was in a fine mood to hate the opening act, Koo Koo Kangaroo. They came on stage and they were ridiculous. Matching T-shirts with gold lettering, prancing around on stage and rapping about their disdain for PB&J's with the crust still around the bread. Yet, despite myself, I couldn't help but enjoy their act. Silly little raps about the alphabet, dinosaurs, and ninjas were fun. That's the bottom line. They were having fun, every song was a sing-along, and no one was taking anything too seriously. It was an act that would have fit in perfectly on Yo Gabba Gabba.

Next up, Suburban Legends took the stage. It had been a while since I had seen the boy band of ska and I had mixed feelings. Their last album, Let's Be Friends... and Slay the Dragon Together, was horrible. But the latest EP they released shows a return to their ska roots. I was wondering which band took the stage. Luckily, it was the latter. They even did a fun cover of the viral "Bed Intruder" video.

Everyone's favorite surf-rock, ska superheroes then took the stage. I'd been waiting to see this performance for a decade and I was not disappointed. They roared on stage with "Charge", played a couple new songs, fought evil scientists and the dog-headed humanoid, mocked Family Guy, and closed their set with "Pool Party". I couldn't have asked for more.

Finally, Reel Big Fish took the stage. It was a bittersweet show for me. I love the band, but this show was without longtime member Scott Klopfenstein. I was wondering how it would turn out. Aaron took charge and they opened with "Sell Out". Since most Fish fans would argue that Scott is irreplaceable, the band took a different route. Instead of having a second trumpet player, the band added saxophonist Matt Appleton. Hearing this full horn section was an awesome addition to their live show. However, with Scott gone, the banter did suffer. Without the back and forth, the show felt like it was missing something. But, Aaron still told jokes. The crowd still laughed and everyone had fun dancing the hours away. My one disappointment from the show was when Aaron started playing the beginning of "Cannibal" only to switch to "Beer".

Despite this, Reel Big Fish still puts on an incredibly fun live show and shouldn't be missed by anyone if they play near your town.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
drugmoney (January 21, 2011)

fuck if i know, i stay around houston and make trips to austin or san antonio

Sandsky (January 18, 2011)

Aaron is such a damn troll. He pulled the Cannibal stunt in Sydney too.

Did MCBC do a backflip?

Skibz777 (January 18, 2011)

What the hell else are you going to do in Dallas?

drugmoney (January 18, 2011)

huh? people still listen to ska?

Skibz777 (January 18, 2011)
germburn (January 18, 2011)

I didn't have any idea that Scott had left RBF. I honestly can't imagine seeing them without him, he was so important to the overall sound of the band. Can anybody tell me why he quit?

GodKill123 (January 18, 2011)

Too be honest, I was expecting Koo Koo Kangaroo to get booed off stage when they went to New Jersey. But They were actually pretty fun to watch! I remember getting a picture with them, and another with Brian Klemm!

Other then that, the tour they're doing now is pretty good. I'm happy I saw Scott live once before he called quits (First time seeing RBF)

Cos (January 18, 2011)

Hey gimp, next time mention the Aquabats by name when you're reviewing them.

cuffer (January 18, 2011)

This sounds like the gayest show ever

jercjast (January 18, 2011)

I've only listened to the new album twice so far. I like a couple of the songs on it, but overall I am not too sure about it. Most of it seems like a Yo Gabba Gabba album. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing. It just feels like most of the songs are way more juvenile and with way too simplistic of a chorus. I know that's one of their main characteristics, however a lot of the songs feel like they were written for 5 year olds. Also, you can tell they messed around with his voice a lot in pro tools. The MCBC could never hit the kind of notes he does in some of these songs.

Skibz777 (January 18, 2011)

Huh. That pretty much IS a standard, no-thrills, all-encompassing setlist. :/

The new album will change that, though. After 'Charge!!' was released, it dominated their shows. I've seen every song played on that album no less than three times each. Of course, if you don't like 'Hi-Five Soup!', I guess that's not a good thing...

jercjast (January 18, 2011)

I think these are all the songs they played in no particular order
Fashion Zombies
Martian Girl
In My Dreams
The Legend is true
Super Rad
Pool Party
Pizza Day
Hot Summer Nights
Nerd Alert
Lovers of loving love
Fight Song
20 seconds of The Shark Fighter

I can't seem to remember if they played Red Sweater or not

Skibz777 (January 18, 2011)

Well, I can believe that, actually. The Aquabats pretty much do their best (and most elaborate) shows in So Cal. There have been times I've seen them in Nevada, for instance, where their shows are pretty much exactly like you described, but other times I've seen them in Arizona, and their shows are excellent. I guess it depends on the environment. And yes, MCBC tends to scream-talk more than sing the songs, but when you're in the pit, it's not much of a concern.

It seems they may be catering a bit more to the Reel Big Fish fans on this tour and sticking to a tired and true setlist. I think once the new album gets around, it'll give their shows a rejuvenation of sorts, but then again, I'm an irrepressible optimist.

Zephir (January 18, 2011)


The new Aquabats is so silly. I love it.

jercjast (January 18, 2011)

I was at this show too and I was not impressed. I was actually kinda pissed it cost 34 bucks. The Aquabats and Reel Big Fish used to be two of my favorite bands. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I thought the Aquabats were pretty bad live. I've flown across the country and seen them numerous times, and this way by far the worst of the shows I've seen. The Bat Commander was getting noticeably winded during every song. Often times he wasn't even signing, he was just saying the lyrics of the songs. The set list was alright, but there wasn't any real deviation from the normal songs they play. The new songs weren't very good. They seemed pretty half ass, like it took them 15 minutes to right some slow ska beat and they just slapped some highly repetative lyrics over it. The fight scene seemed so extremely forced. They couldn't even bother to come up with a reason for it, they were just like, "Uhhh, I guess its time to fight now." It seemed like the barely played 40 minutes. I think the House of Blues cut them off. They started to play a song and then stopped 20 seconds in to play Pool Party. I know they are supposed to be silly and fun, but the show seemed extremely half assed even for them. I will say Reel Big Fish sounded good. I was glad there wasn't much banter and they just played some old good songs. But there was definitely a lack of spirit and enthusiasm. The 16 year old ska fan inside of me was pretty saddened by the whole evening.

Skibz777 (January 18, 2011)

YOU didn't like 'Let's Be Friends...'?! I know I'm not in a minority when I say it was definitely a better effort than 'Rump Shaker'. On 'Friends', it seemed like they finally found their own voice, consolidating their pop-ska and pop-disco sides into one cohesive and satisfying package instead of leaning too heavily on either bland, derivative RBF knock-offs ('Rump Shaker') or half-formed and flat pop ('Infectious'). It really established a unique sound/persona that finally set them apart from any other dime-a-dozen ska-punk band. Of course, it doesn't really matter because they still fucking suck.

Would've liked to know a bit more about The Aquabats set, though. From your description, I'm guessing they busted out a bit more 'Fury' material on this tour? Ick.

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