Date: Sunday, November 20th, 2011
Line up: Fishbone & Fayuca
Location: The Crescent Ballroom. Phoenix, AZ
The relentless punk rock-ska-funky-reggae artists Fishbone are still alive and kicking over 30 years after their first live performance. The lineups and artists on stage might have changed a few times, but the heart and passion of the band has never wavered. Angelo Moore, the lead singer of the L.A. rockers has remained another constant, but on this occasion, he walked onto the stage as a Mariachi singer, complete with his shiny sombrero.
Fans that came out on a Sunday night walked into a close-quartered intimate environment, but the music coming from the stage forced fan interaction, as the melodies came fast and furious from the ska-punk-reggae militia of local Arizona act Fayuca, followed by Fishbone. The crowd inside the Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix was enticed to skank, mosh and even toss up the first of many crowd surfers throughout the evening.
Fayuca had a stage presence that rivaled what was to come later in the night by Fishbone, but the west Phoenix trio had showmanship on stage. From Gabe Solorzano singing and shredding on the guitar to Cisco Carballo’s thumping bass, riveting through the speakers, along with Rafael on the drums, often times utilizing only one hand, while grabbing all eyes in the crowd with his other.
Fayuca brought out the crowd’s energy with an exhilarating 45-minute performance, which included a handful of new songs to be released in early 2012, as well as old classics “Salte Demonio,” “Shoot It Up” and “Smith and Wesson”. The crowd was enthused following Fayuca’s set and was gracious in thanking the Phoenix locals, prior to the main act: Fishbone.
As the lights brightened on stage, one by one, Fishbone’s members walked onto the stage, and picked up their instruments. Once Norwood Fisher (bass) arrived at the microphone, he asked one simple question, “Are you ready to act a mother fucking fool?” With an emphatic response, the band jumped into an extended instrumental opening to “Everyday Sunshine”, followed by “Skankin’ to the Beat”, which easily could have been the soundtrack for the remaining portion of the show.
The crowd was certainly feeling the music, both the twenty-year-old tunes and the most recent tracks from their Crazy Glue EP. Fishbone even managed to bring back the highly acclaimed Sublime classic, “Date Rape”, which Angelo Moore managed to add his own flavor to the live version. Norwood turned his bass up to another level, while the horns and keys added much more prominence than a three-piece band. Walking into the venue on Sunday, nobody expected to hear Sublime tracks, but Fishbone brought out the best in what makes concerts so special at each venue.
Fishbone has proved they are not just a great live band, but they are also an amazing performance to see live that has put in the work inside the studio. During their set, each song transitioned into another, after another, without hesitation. During some breaks, Angelo Moore would address the crowd or bring fans onto the stage to jump off the riser and crowd surf. It was difficult to decipher whether fans in attendance gravitated more towards their old favorites from the last few decades or their most recent work with Crazy Glue. For both timeframes, the music forced reactions from the crowd, and all of them were positive, from the youngsters to the everyday nine to five workers.
Norwood Fisher and Angelo Moor kept the crowd dancing all night to “Lemon Meringue,” “Crazy Glue,” and newly recorded crowd pleaser “Akkafoo”. There are not too many crowds more rambunctious and boisterous than Fishbone fans, and Sunday night was no different.
The “flying fish” jumped from the stage and into the crowd endlessly throughout the night, as music bounced off of the brick walls, but the rowdy nightclub came together in unison with Fishbone’s most iconic track, “Party At Ground Zero”. Concerts could be endless on most nights, but with Fishbone’s extensive catalog billowing, well over 30-years of hits, the L.A. punk rock icons could have manned the stage for back-to-back nights with ease.
– Article by: Kris Siuta
– Photos by: IrieAZPhoto
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