Good nights start and end with beer. At first I was standing in it while I waited in the queue down a dingy keg-lined alley and by the end of the night I was dancing in it, covered head to toe in sticky liquid gold. Yum. But what are you going to do? Anyone who enters a Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger show should realise they’ve made an unspoken agreement to endure beer being poured on them, plastic bottles hitting them in the face and the occasional kick to the ear. It’s punk rock and this is what we do.
First up, I have to congratulate the American support, Zebrahead, for solving the issue of dehydration. These boys brought the rider onstage with them, setting up a cocktail bar complete with a bartender who was expertly trained to intoxicate others, dance, and pull band members back from the mosh. Brilliant. Time for a career change.
Next up, Goldfinger. Or more like a quarter of Goldfinger. The band have dissolved and the only original member remaining is singer John Feldmann. But nonetheless, the guy can work the crowd. They love him. The girl standing behind me even wants to marry him. She’d been charmed by his cracks about ‘tossing off’ and anecdotes of his seven year old son confusing the term ‘blowies’ with bubble machines. Maybe the kid should wear earplugs even when his daddy is offstage. Jokes aside, it’s clear Feldmann loves being on that stage as much as we love watching him up there. The entire set from Spokesman to The Only One was a party.
If Goldfinger’s set was a party, Reel Big Fish produced a freakin’ fiesta. Trendy and Everything Sucks opened the set. The floor filled with ska enthusiasts and every corner of the venue contained people testing out new and ridiculous dance moves. ‘Saxle Rose’ (Matt Appleton) was running circles around the rest of the brass section (literally) and the band was peppering their set with snippets of Billy Jean and Brown Eyed Girl. They even called for a wall of skank. Not a wall of overly promiscuous women but instead for the audience to part and skank toward each other. It has the visual effect of a battle scene, if everyone was skipping.
By 12 it was time for Beer. So I grabbed a beer and headed into the mosh only to be greeted by the opening bars of Tequila, shortly followed by their final song (Beer, in case you missed it). They added a short breakdown of Red Red Wine, which was fun but to be honest, red wine reminds me of church. This was a party, better to stick to beer. Sticky, liquid gold beer.
BY LIZZIE DYNON
LOVED: Learning that ‘Beer can’ in a broad Australian accent sound like ‘bacon’ in a Jamaican accent.
HATED: Not being able to have a smoke with my beer
DRANK: …beer, obviously.