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Life Sucks? Reel Big Fish Suggest Dancing

Life Sucks…Let’s Dance! Tour

Reel Big Fish - 15

It’s winter, it’s cold and dreary. What better way to warm up than to join Reel Big Fish on their Life Sucks…Let’s Dance! Tour. Along with Big D and The Kids Table, and Keep Flying, the second stop of the tour landed at The Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, NC on February 28, 2020.

Life Sucks…So Let's Dance1

While it remains to be seen if ska can protect against the coronavirus, it can help you forget your troubles for one evening and just have some fun.

Keep Flying - 22

The show was officially a sell-out and already quite packed when Keep Flying started the night. Relative newcomers, the members were probably all still in diapers when Big D and Reel Big started out, but anything they lacked in experience, they made up for in enthusiasm with a high energy set that was a mix of punk, alternative, and pop-rock. After warming up the crowd in both the literal and figurative sense, they were bid a fond farewell.

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Next to the stage was Big D and the Kids Table. The lineup has changed and the band has experimented with other musical styles, but on this night, they mostly stuck to the Boston style ska-punk they’re best known for. Two-thirds of the setlist consisted of songs from the albums, Strictly Rude (2007) and How It Goes (2004).

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Not bad choices as those contain arguably their best known and most popular songs like, “Noise Complaint” and “LA. X.” Charging from song to song, the longest pause came when vocalist David McWayne noted the best part of touring with Reel Big Fish was getting to watch Reel Big Fish. He also confirmed that a new album is in the works. Other than a brief audio issue, their performance went off without a hitch, though perhaps a little on the short side.

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If you’ve been to a Reel Big Fish show previously, you know what you’re getting: singer Aaron Barrett’s signature Aloha shirts and oversized sunglasses, cynical lyrics set to bouncy, danceable, often profane, tunes, the horn section acting out lyrics, and balloons being batted around.  Other than the addition of a few of their newest songs from their most recent album, Life Sucks…Let’s Dance! it’s mostly the same show they’ve been doing for years. This is a minor issue, more of an if-it’s-not-broke-don’t-fix-it scenario. The sellout crowd wasn’t complaining, but dancing and often singing along and generally enjoying themselves. Reel Big Fish doesn’t pretend to provide anything other than a fun time, and at that, they succeed. 

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If you’re already a ska aficionado then you likely don’t need me to tell you that you’ll enjoy this tour. If you don’t like ska, nothing here will change your mind. So for the new or curious, this would be a great introduction. Reel Big Fish and Big D and The Kids Table haven’t survived this long without knowing how to put on a show. Throw in the bonus of rising talent Keep Flying and it’s great to forget for a few hours that everything sucks.

See full gallery of the night here!

Remaining tour dates:

Mar 01State College, PARe//Bar
Mar 03Buffalo, NYTown Ballroom
Mar 04Syracuse, NYThe Westcott Theater
Mar 05Lancaster, PAChameleon Club
Mar 06Huntington, NYThe Paramount
Mar 07Uncasville, CTWolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino
Mar 08Clifton Park, NYUpstate Concert Hall

Once an aspiring male model, Kevin quickly realized he had a face that was better suited to being behind the camera. When he's not at a concert, he can often be found at sci-fi conventions or preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse.

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