Reel Big Fish/The Starting Line/The Kicks - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Reel Big Fish / The Starting Line / The Kicks

live in Chicago (2002)

live show

I must admit, I felt my age last night. For a minute there I thought I'd returned to junior high for a few hours. Kids, so many kids... I didn't know what to do. If this review gets a bit strange, I do apologize, I'm breathing recycled airplane oxygen on my way to Seattle.

The first band to play was The Kicks from Little Rock, AK. Although the band would recommend downloading their album from the internet, it's not possible, I tried before the show and couldn't find anything by them, so I went into the show with no prior knowledge of them. I found The Kicks to be a highly enjoyable experience, however, I don't believe that they went over quite as well with the rest of the audience. I don't even know who to compare The Kicks to, other than perhaps Weezer, because they came out with a sound that was catchy, but not too poppy, they still rocked out. They played a quick eight song set including songs such as "mirror," "popstar" and "all good." The chorus in "All Good" was especially Weezer-esque. Overall The Kicks brought a different sound to the show that was definitely a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

Unforunately, the next band was A New Found Glory. Oops, I mean, The Starting Line. Hailing from Philadelphia, this band's twelve song set was twelve songs too long. I'd heard a few of their songs before, and listened to in small amounts, the annoyance factor goes way down, but this set had me wanting to run for the door. They opened with the song "Given The Chance," a typical pop-punk get the crowd jumping song. Their third song was "Hello Houston" which is apparently about a porn star. The rest of the set consisted of "Saddest Girl Story," a cover of Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Real," "The Best of Me," "Cheek to Cheek," "This Ride," "Left Coast Envy," "Almost There, Going Nowhere," "A Good Night's Sleep," and "Leaving." I completely lost what little respect I had for this band when before "A Good Night's Sleep" the lead singer started ranting about his ex-girlfriend and how he hopes that she dies from a drug overdose. Nice maturity level buddy. Overall, the crowd was really energetic for their set, but I found it to be somewhat dull and predictable. Isn't one New Found Glory enough?

Reel Big Fish closed the night with a fast paced, bouncy set. Twenty-one songs later, they even had my friend (who hates RBF) admitting that they put on a really good show. The energy level was consistent from the opening song "The Set Up (You Need This)" to the closer "Sell Out." My personal favorite selections played from the new album were "Ban The Tube Top" and "Valerie." The band managed to keep the crowd up as much as they were for The Starting Line. The sound was completely on for every song. Towards the end the band played "Thank You for not Moshing" which would've been an appropriate song to have played during The Starting Line's set. The crowd heating up the floor of the show, obviously having a blast. The rapid pace of the songs kept everyone from getting bored and the excellent execution impressed even the parents of the kids dancing on the floor (somebody has to drive the little ones home at night). Overall, Reel Big Fish put on an excellent show, although I think the best part of the show was when one of the band members (I couldn't see which one) went off on a girl in the balcony for talking on her cell phone during their set. With city liquor license law curfews, there was no time for an encore, leaving the fans wanting more than they could have.

the set list was (i'm sorry I'm missing a song):
The Set Up (You Need This)
Ban the Tube Top
Down in Flames
Somebody Loved Me
Cheer Up
The Kids Don't Like It
Everything Sucks
Snoop Dog Baby
A Little Doubt Goes a Long Way
Thank You For Not Moshing
She's Famous Now
Good Thing
I Want Your Girlfriend to be my Girlfriend
Where Have You Been?
Take on Me
Sell Out