Getting UP in DOWN Times

Subtitle: Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto and Tip the Van: Toads Place, New Haven CT 1/23/09

There is no denying that Ska music can be some of the most entertaining, energetic and enthusiastic music around. So was it really a surprise that the 1300 person venue, New Haven’s Toad’s Place (CT), sold out one of the biggest Ska tickets currently touring.
The show opened with Tip the Van, whose home state roots shone through and the crowd vigorously got into their music. The 6 year old Ska group led by two sisters (Nicole and Simone) brought the venue to life and were substantially better than my sometimes musically challenged comrade made them out to be.
Of course, Tip the Van was just the opener to the two bands that made this venue sell out. Streetlight Manifesto took the stage and the crowd took to them. Despite some sound issues during the first couple of songs (given that Toad’s Place’s sound system isn’t that good to begin with) the Streetlight feeling broke though. With songs from both old and new album (almost a year old now) and the always good ‘Point/Counter Point’, ‘Keasby Nights’ mash up. This was the third time that I had seen Streetlight (currently holding the record for most views), and they rock the house every time and this was no different.
With little to no further ado Reel Big Fish was on the stage with a band and launched headlong into ‘Trendy’. Having just released their new album this week, the Fish mixed in some of their new songs from that record (all of which were thoroughly enjoyable), some of the better songs from their Previous Album and the crowd classics that have come to define Reel Big Fish. By the end of the main set they had had both lead singers of Tip the Van back on stage to sing with ‘She has a girlfriend now’, trumpet player from old Tyler Jones (pre Johnny Christmas) and the trombone player from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones to sing along too. With these cameos, their relentlessly animated music and comedic intercourse with your brain the Reel Big Fish showed how to get up and dance when times are down. As always, it seems, the Reel Big Fish take the energy level to new highs and by the end of the night, nearly 2 hours from taking the stage, they had achieved this once again.
Oh, and if you were wondering who started that rousing ‘Ole Ole’ to which the Reel Big Fish answered by coming back on stage playing it in the beginning of the encore, well it was me and 6 other friends in what has become a tradition for Reel Big Fish shows.

1 comment:

  1. excellent review and yes I am self admittedly "sometimes musically challenged"