Summer of Ska, Eleven Years of Memories

FlyerIn the summer of 2001, my friend Jim and I went to the Avalon in Boston to see the “Crouching Fish, Hidden Finger” tour featuring Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger and Zebrahead. My parents drove us up from Connecticut and we stayed in Cambridge at a hotel overnight. The show rocked and it was easily the highlight of my summer, not to mention one of the first shows that was really big in my life. I still have the tour shirt.

Almost exactly eleven years later Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish returned to Boston with the “Summer of Ska” tour. New venue in the same building (House of Blues), slightly different line-ups in the bands, a different crowd. And Jim and I were there again.

At some point during the show Jim and I got into a conversation about feeling old. We didn’t go in the pit. We drank beer by the bar. We complained our legs ached from standing for three hours. “Sell Out” was released when we were in seventh grade. But we were there. Goldfinger was there. Reel Big Fish was there. Still rocking. Maybe for the last time, for us at least.

The show wasn’t perfect. The crowd’s energy was low to start and it was damn hot inside the club. It was only the third date on the tour and my guess is that the bands are still trying to dial it in. I still had a blast. The songs are still great; amazing energy and engagement from the bands, and it felt more like a celebration than just another tour to promote whatever new release is out.

Jim and I, curious as to why the crowd was so much younger than us, wondered how these kids got into Goldfinger or Reel Big Fish. I mean, “Here in Your Bedroom” came out when most the crowd was still in diapers. The answer: you always go back to the classics. The same was I got into The Clash or The Descendents. You like one band, they open you up to another, who then has certain influences and you just take it all in.

Great music knows no boundaries. The Beatles still sell records.

While I may not skank or mosh anymore in the trenches, the rush of a great show is never lost on me. I’m glad I was able to experience it again with two of the most influential bands in my life. And I’m glad Jim was able to make the drive from Connecticut to be there as well. We may be older, but we’re not dead yet.

goldfinger

Goldfinger Setlist
Question
Counting the Days
Get Up
Here in Your Bedroom
Answers
San Simeon
Mabel
Open Your Eyes
My Girlfriend’s Shower Sucks
Miles Away
99 Red Balloons

Reel Big Fish Setlist (Out of Order)
The Kids Don’t Like It
In the Pit
Everything Sucks
Where Have You Been?
Another F.U. Song
Snoop Dogg Baby
Your Guts
Enter Sandman
241
I Want Your Girlfriend to be My Girlfriend
Good Thing
Monkey Man
Trendy
New Song
S.R. (Original, Punk, Disco, Country, Death Metal)
Brown Eyed Girl
The Set Up
Beer
Sell Out
She Has a Girlfriend Now

Reel Big Fish

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