The Limelight is a venue I hold very dear to my heart as I have either been partying in it during the weekends or witnessing some amazing bands like Buckcherry, Bowling for Soup, Electric Six amongst many others. Tonight is definitely up there with the best of them as I got the opportunity to review not one, but three Ska Punk bands that have been around for quite some time, and have hits that you may have forgot even existed.
First up on the stage was Zebrahead and they burst on it with a bang covering hits like ‘Playmate of the Year’, ‘Hello Tomorrow’ and ‘Anthem’. With their fast paced rock, face melting guitar solos and of course the duel singing from both Ali Tabatadaee and Matty Lewis were a fantastic start to the evening. After the third song they brought on a couple of guys dressed in German Oktoberfest attire, and preceded to get them into a drinking competition against one another with the crowd chanting ‘chug, chug, chug!’ to spur them on and set up a great atmosphere that would put you in mind of a party rather than a concert. Their German friends proceeded to get drinks from the bar onstage as Zebrahead partied on with the crowd and near the end of their set had the entire Limelight sitting down ready to jump up and down to get everyone geared up for the next two bands to follow.
With their brass ensemble and groove orientated punk rock, Reel Big Fish came onstage and in no time had the crowd on their feet jumping up and down and dancing along to hits along the way in the form of ‘Sellout’, ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, ‘Beer’ and ‘Monkey Man’ to name a few. One of the highlights three songs in however was when Aaron Barrett [lead singer/guitarist] was spinning around and fell off the stage. Everyone was panicking and hoping he was alright and as he got back up after it he was joking and laughing and as a proper showman carried on the show enjoying himself, and putting on a fantastic performance.
Throughout their set Reel Big Fish were really entertaining onstage dancing, interacting with the crowd and also playing a few covers of other songs from bands such as The Offspring with ‘Self-Esteem’, Carly Rae Jepsen with ‘Call Me Maybe’ and A-Ha with ‘Take on Me’ mid-way through their own songs and after a bit of a sing-along to the covers they picked up where they left off in their tracks.
As the night was coming to a close and the final band Less Than Jake was to take the stage they knew they had a task in trying to top Reel Big Fish. They did have a big task to follow on from the bands that were on before them, but I must admit they done very well and produced a great performance with excellent crowd interaction, jokes and also a Boy vs. Girl drinking competition in which the girls won onstage. With songs like ‘Give Me Something to Believe In’, ‘Landmines and Landslides’ and ‘Plastic Cup Politics’, they had a bit of a jazz meets rock sound that Ska Punk incorporates and produces perfectly, and shows you why all three of these bands complement each other so well and how catchy the tracks are. A legendary act.
It was a fantastic night in the Limelight and with upcoming acts in the coming months like Killswitch Engage, Newton Faulkner, Clutch, it shows how many people love to go and see great live performances and show support for all the talent on display. Matt Halliday.