Review! Reel Big Fish, Suburban Legends, The Maxies at House of Blues

Super last minute I decided to slump on over to Reel Big Fish’s show in San Diego at House of Blues last week. Honestly I’m not a huge SKA person and I have seen Reel Big Fish quite a few times over the years so this wasn’t a show I was absolutely gushing over. I was of course thrilled to go to a concert with some good friends and get toasty – but I wasn’t expecting too much from this performance. But as with almost everything that I think, I was wrong!

The Maxie’s opened up.  To keep it real with you all – I’m not a huge fan of The Maxie’s. WAIT FOR ME TO EXPLAIN! I just cannot get into their whole costume spiel and antics – which is odd because I’m a fan of theatrics. But if I had to truly think WHY I can’t get into them no matter how many times I try, I’d have to say that it’s because of their very dedicated fan base.  I’ve had so many friends try and shove them down my throat that now I’m at a Hipster point in my relationship with the band that I stubbornly just have a reluctance. I want to like them so badly because they rock at what they do – I get why they have such a hardcore fan club. The Maxie’s know how to entertain a room of people. They definitely are experts at what they do and can really rally a crowd up. Their music is super fun, animated and easy to bop your head to. The hype was buzzing by the time they were finished – which is the goal or something, right?

Next up was a band called Suburban Legends. Unlike The Maxie’s, I have never heard of these guys prior to seeing them. My friend was telling me to get amped on this group, but I had no clue what to prepare for with the description that “They played Disney covers for a long time at Disneyland but they are SKA too”. I won’t say I wasn’t excited for them…but I wasn’t jumping up and down either. (yet) This band blew it out of the water from the first freaking note that came out of their beautiful faces/hands/musical limbs. They have charisma and know how to get a crowd turnt. (Did I just say turnt? I hate myself too.)  You can feel how much they all love what they are doing – and that’s hard to come by so genuinely anymore. Suburban Legends is seriously stellar as fuck. It’s a band consisting of eight guys that slay on a slew of instruments including a trumpet, trombone, keyboard, drums….oh it’s like marching band all over again – and I love marching band, just to clarify. They are born performers. They interacted with the audience and held a connection with every single person in the room. My favorite part, I have to hesitantly say, was the choreography they include with their performances. I know what you’re thinking…”EW”. Well you’re wrong. I think all bands should partake in some cute choreography as of now because it got me more excited than my cats when I whip out the wet food. (That’s very excited.) On top of playing their original tracks, Suburban Legends also included a few of their Disney covers – which goes without saying that I swooned even deeper over them because of this. The guitarist, Brian Klemm, stole the spotlight for two songs  from The Little Mermaid. THE LITTLE MERMAID! I felt like I was at a punk version of Disneyland… I even have to say more? (Yes, I do.) I had a smile on my face during their entire set. I honestly think they out shined Reel Big Fish – which is pretty tough to do. I can’t tell you how much my life sucks now because I found out this is their last tour…..WTF. I can’t believe I only got to see them once and that’ll be it! Hopefully it’s more of a “Last Tour” but I am stoked I was lucky enough to see them one final time. They came and hung out with fans after so, being as drunk as I was, I had to meet everybody! We found a  towel on the ground so naturally I asked them all to sign this stinky used cloth for me. I didn’t really get to talk to anybody too much except for the trumpet player, Chris Lucca. He was super sweet and has been with the group since the beginning, I think. We connected pretty well when he told me he’s buying a house in Philly. I screeched when hearing this and blurted out, “I’M FROM PHILLY, SON!” in the most gangster voice ever – so we talked for a good ten minutes. Chris also writes soundtracks for video games and is in the process of recording now too. TRIPLE POINTS IN MY BOOK: this dude is buying a house in Philly, plays in a kickass band AND contributes to something that composes a large part of my spare time– video games! My night was made.

Julia and Suburban Legends

The head honchos of the night were those spiffy gents that compose Reel Big Fish. They were great, they are a classic cornerstone of SKA after all. They remind me of my childhood and how I was going to make it to the West Coast someday.  Reel Big Fish played their hits like “Sell Out”  and a few fun covers that they are known for too. I was dancing around and had a truly good time. My favorite part was their last song, not only because it meant they were done (just kidding!) but because they played Take On Me. I was jumping around like a lunatic when I heard this classic 80’s jam starting. I can’t even remember how loudly I was blurting out the lyrics…somewhat intoxicated. It had to have been screamo status though because my throat burned the entire following day.  It was a wonderful way to end the night, I think the crowd felt a strange sense of connection with each other and nostalgia with Reel Big Fish’s performance – which is dope.

Welp, that was my week! It was a sweet blend of a lot of tunes, a lot of alcohol and a lot of happiness that shined upon me as a result.  If you read this novel, you are a true team player and I hope you felt like you were at The House of Blues with me. If you want to check out more of who stole my heart last Wednesday (Suburban Legends for those of you weren’t paying attention. Shame on you!), here’s the remainder of their tour dates. You should DEFINITELY check them out if you have the chance – this is the last time you’ll have an opportunity to feel the magic this Disney, punk, pop SKA band brews:

1/13/16 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
1/14/16 – Santa Ana, CA -The Observatory
1/15/16 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock
1/16/16 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
1/18/16 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
1/19/16 – Austin, TX – The Parish
1/20/16 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
1/21/16 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
1/22/16 – Destin, FL – Club L.A.
1/23/16 – Gainesville, FL – High Dive
1/24/16 – Jacksonville, FL – Mavericks
1/25/16 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm
1/26/16 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel
1/28/16 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
1/29/16 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
1/30/16 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater
1/31/16 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring
2/1/16 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
2/2/16 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
2/3/16 – Boston, MA – Royale Boston
2/4/16 – Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall
2/5/16 – So. Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
2/6/16 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
2/8/16 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
2/9/16 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
2/10/16 – Lansing, MI – The Loft
2/11/16 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall
2/12/16 – Palatine, IL – Durty Nellies
2/13/16 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
2/14/16 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
2/15/16 – Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theatre
2/16/16 – Ft. Collins, CO – Aggie Theatre
2/17/16 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
2/18/16 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen
2/19/16 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue
2/20/16 – Reno, NV – Cargo
2/22/16 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
2/23/16 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst

Reviewed by Julia Kennedy

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