Reviewed: Reel Big Fish - Melbourne, Thursday December 5

Live at 170 Russell

Over four days, Reel Big Fish played five shows to help residents of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne get their fill of ska music. It all started at Sydney’s Crowbar on Wednesday December 4. For their second show, Reel Big Fish took over 170 Russell on Thursday December 5 ahead of their appearance at all three Good Things dates.

170 Russell was suitable for the show due to its wide pit, which gave rockers ample room to jump around and dance, with its two bars fuelling it all.

 

The highlight of the show was definitely the high energy of the band, with barely a moment in between each song to stop moving. Each song was introduced with quirky remarks such as “here’s a ska song”, to help the audience know they were about to start dancing.

 

The six-piece flaunted their wide array of songs from throughout their career, leaving no hit out of the set to keep everyone in the room bouncing.

 

The hour-long performance included songs such as ‘Sell Out’, ‘She Has A Girlfriend Now’, and ‘Ska Show’. It wouldn’t be a Reel Big Fish show without perfectly-executed ska covers of songs such as ‘Take On Me’, ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, and Jimmy Eat World’s ‘The Middle’. All of these were placed throughout the set, and helped to increase the intensity of the show.

 

 

The order of the songs seemed to have been carefully considered by the band as there didn’t seem to be a period of slowing down, just one big set of ska madness.

 

Before them, however, Area 7 filled the venue with their slightly more aggressive and Aussie take on ska. They’re a slightly bigger outfit than Reel Big Fish with eight members in total. This helps them deliver a mix of punk and ska to provide a solid starting ground for the night’s festivities.

 

In between their songs, Area 7 were great at building a connection with the audience through the use of banter.

 

But of course, the band is no stranger to playing live, with tours across the UK as well as the States this year. This amount of touring shows in their playing, they all looked like they were comfortable being on stage with one another.

 

 

Naturally, the band rose to fame in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, though they’re actively still putting music out. Last year they released yet another solid, timeless album Life Sucks… Let’s Dance!

 

The 14 track album is about going to ska shows, anger, love, and not being in the ‘90s anymore. And though it’s their 11th album now, the rockers are still pumping out songs that sound definitively like them.

 

Keep your eyes peeled for more reviews from Good Things Festival soon. 

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