Huntington Beach ska-rockers, Reel Big Fish are currently on the second leg of their 20th anniversary tour, in celebration of their 1996 sophomore album Turn the Radio Off. The band itself turn 25 last year, and Turn the Radio Off has long been considered a seminal album for the So Cal sextet, and featured the hit single “Sell Out. The band, which features frontman Aaron Barrett, bassist Derek Gibbs, drummer Ed Larsen, and the brass trio of Johnny Christmas, Matt “Saxl Rose” Appleton, and Billy Kottage, delighted the packed Knitting Factory crowd Tuesday night.
The band’s set included tracks like “I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too,” “Your Guts (I Hate ‘Em),” “Snoop Doggy, Baby,” “She has a Girlfriend Now,” “Sell Out,” “Beer,” and “Everything Sucks,” as well as covers of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones “The Impression That I Get,” and A-ha’s “Take On Me.”
In contrast to the relative upbeat abandon of Reel Big Fish, the February 7 show also featured Pittsburgh’s hardcore punkers, Anti-Flag, who were raging with the aggression of political activists, and charged with energetic discontent. The qurtet, which has been around for nearly three decades, is still fronted by guitarist/vocalist Justin Sane, and anchored by drummer Pat Thetic. The band is squared off by guitarist Chris Head and bassist Chris “#2” Barker. Anti-Flag is touring in support of its ninth studio album, American Spring. on the Die for the Government 20th Anniversary Tour for their 1996 debut album of the same name. Their set included classics like “Drink Drank Punk,” “Fuck Police Brutality,” “You’d Do the Same,” “I’m Being Watched by the CIA,” “All of the Poison, All of the Pain,” “The Press Corpse,” “Summer Squatter,”, and a cover of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” The band’s anti-Trump sentiment was palpable and exactly what fans expect from Anti-Flag!
Aberdeen, Maryland’s Ballyhoo! also performed, and their set included tracks such as “Last Night,” “Evil Penguin,” “She Wants to Destroy Me,” and “Outta My Mind.”
Unfortunately, due to any earlier than expected start time, we missed the show openers, Toronto’s Pkew Pkew Pkew.
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