Reel Big Fish, Zebrahead, Wakefield, The Matches – Live (June 26th, 2003)

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Reel Big Fish, Zebrahead, Wakefield, The Matches

Live (June 26th, 2003) - Red's - Edmonton, Alberta

Around 8 o’clock The Matches started playing their set to a fairly small crowd. Being in a small crowd does have its advantages and disadvantages. If you’ve ever been in a mosh pit, then you know that with it comes a sort of excitement and energy, but also a somewhat bad view of the stage at times; in a small crowd you lose some of that excitement, but then get a perfect view of the stage. Incredibly energized, the three guitarists and vocalists of The Matches, Shawn, Jon and Justin, were jumping around all over the place singing loudly and getting you pumped up. Halfway through the first song the guitar strap on front man Shawn Harris broke and he was forced to hold his guitar is a more unusual position. After the song he told the crowd “Well I now know I can’t last three days without changing my guitar strap“. Their set was really good, the only downside was that the vocals were drowned out a big by the powerful musical instruments. After their final track, Chain Me Free, they started putting away all their gear and wires. Doing it all themselves in true do-it-yourself fashion. Once they were done they went into the crowd and talked to everyone who was there. Handing out free stickers, signing stuff, and getting e-mails for their e-mail list. These punkers are true followers of the Do-it-Yourself tradition.

Wakefield came up on the stage next, the pit was a bit fuller but not by much. They played a good set, but not as good as the opening act. They played songs like Positive ReinforcementSold Out,Infamous, and many more. They ended their set with their single, Sold Out, and left as the crowd got ready to be awed by Zebrahead (at the announcement by Wakefield that they were coming up, somewhat was nice enough to yell “How do you give a zebra head?“. Which was  received by an onslaught of laughter).

By the time Zebrahead was playing, the pit was practically full and really energized. Everyone was jumping around and singing along with the band, this by far was the best set of the night. They played a load of songs from their new album and some old classics (like Playmate Of The Year and The Hell That Is My Life). One of the crowd favorites from the new album (let’s call it the “Fuck Song“) started off with a chorus which everyone was able to sing along with:
Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Mother Fucking Fuck, Fuck, Mother Fucking Fuck” (or something like that). This got an amazing cheer from the pit. Halfway through the set the vocalist/guitarist, Justin Mauriello, asked who was in a band. A couple hands shot up and yelled out loud, he then carried on saying “Ever hear a song on the radio or TV and wonder why that song is on but yours isn’t? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s all because of four chords.” He then played four chords and they went into a song. It started off as Swing Swing by The All-American Rejects (which, coincidently, the guitarist from Wakefield was wearing a shirt off the set before), it then morphed into another song (I am not sure what one) then once again into What’s My Age Again by Blink182, then ending the song off was another one (which, once again I forget which). “Ya, all four chords” they then went into Playmate of The Year (another crowd favorite).

Finally the headliners stepped onto the stage and received a loud cheer as they opened with Sell OutReel Big Fish played for a set little over an hour long, singing songs like BeerWhere Have You Been and Good Thing. Plus many older tracks from their previous releases. Tyler and Dan (trombones) continually energized the crowd as they did many different tactics. Maybe it was the bee costume Dan was in, the freaky afro type hair-do of Tyler, or the beer that they continually drowned down, they were always doing something when they had a spare moment. Once they were done their set, the crowd cheered for an encore. Tyler came onto the stage saying that it was the most excruciating night of his life, and instead of playing their encore, he was going to go backstage and drink beer. He left and 30 seconds later the band came on with Aaron and Scott talking. Just before they went into a song, Tyler wandered onstage with a beer bottle in his hand, saying since we paid for the show, he might’ve well get drunk and have some fun! They played a couple more songs before really leaving and the crowd slowly separated after a night of terrific entertainment!