Live: Reel Big Fish & Suburban Legends (2-23-16)

Live: Reel Big Fish & Suburban Legends (2-23-16)


Date: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016
Line Up: Reel Big Fish, Suburban Legends & The Maxies
Location: The Catalyst Club. Santa Cruz, CA

Reel Big Fish Live @ The Catalyst. Santa Cruz, CA

Reel Big Fish threw their final performance of their winter tour last night in Santa Cruz and blew they the roof of The Catalyst Club. Accompanying them were opening band The Maxies and direct supporters Suburban Legends.

Not only was this a kickass last show to their winter tour, it was also an extra special show because it was the official last show for Suburban Legends. The Orange County based Ska band, Suburban Legends took the stage one last time as this was their final national tour. Beginning their career 15 years ago, The Santa Cruz Catalyst was one of the first venues they ever played in. Having been around the block a few times, Suburban Legends have accumulated a diverse fan base and never failing to exceed their expectations. For example, the band released their 7th album in June of 2015 titled Forever in the FriendZone. The album stands 14 songs strong consisting of powerful horns and a collection of original tracks.

Suburban Legends broke their set up into three parts starting the show with their older hits, Just Be Happy and Dance, Dance, Dance. The band then transitioned into songs of their latest album, “Forever in the Friendzone”. The songs off their new record included: Forever in the Friend Zone, Thank You for Being a Friend and Warrior. Now, if you were not familiar with Suburban Legends you would assume the band to be a tenacious crew that is all about mosh pits and partying. However, the band is also famous for their soft spot…that is Disney cover songs.

With a special place in his heart for this one, Lead Guitar player Brian Klem takes the mic and starts us off with a song about a little mermaid, titled “Kiss the Girl”. As they introduce their number one Disney cover, “Under the Sea”, the guys also introduce the crowd to another member of their band, Patrick, the inflatable Orca whale. To nobody’s surprise Patrick was set free into the rambunctious crowd where a huge mosh pit took place along with endless crowd surfing.


Playing the role as direct support to Reel Big Fish it was interesting to see and hear from so many fans who came out to the show to see Suburban Legends. Their fan base ranged from teenagers to 40+. One younger fan let me know that she loves their shows because, “the Disney cover songs are so much fun!” A few veteran fans shared that they saw Suburban Legends at The Catalyst during their first tour and thought it would be a good time seeing them again.

The band shared with The Pier that this was their last show on a national tour. Their decision to stop big touring is solely based off of pursuing other career goals. Trombonist, Brian Robertson let us know that, the band may still play occasional local shows in Southern California.

Neighbors to Suburban Legend in Southern California we have headlining Ska-punk band, Reel Big Fish! Reel Big Fish gained an underground following back in the summer of 1997 during the time that No Doubt and Sublime were topping the charts. RBF then blew up on MTV with their single “Single Sell Out”. They quickly progressed in the Ska-Punk and mainstream genres because of their juvenile humor, catchy songs and stellar performances. Last night was their last show of their 2016 winter tour where they did not fail to impress.

Just moments before Reel Big Fish took the stage we witnessed the flood of fans rushing in for the headlining act. Looking around everyone was already sweating and filled with adrenaline, anxiously waiting to continue the party. Before the band could come out the venue made the wise decision to send more security guards to the front of the stage in anticipation of out of control crowd surfing, which they correctly predicted.


Reel Big Fish then came out in full force with big horns and lots of energy, excited to play their last show of their winter tour. The opening song, “Everything Sucks” quickly transformed the crowd into a massive mosh pool. The rowdy crowd carried on throughout the whole show as RBF continued to provoke and engage the audience with playful fan interaction and commentary. One special on stage character throughout the set was Trombonist, Billy Kottage. He had full pockets of confetti that he would dramatically throw on other band members; he was having so much fun.

Based off of song choice, time playing, time talking to the crowd and enthusiasm from the band, Reel Big Fish arranged their set to perfection. They featured a collection of fan favorites such as “Party Down”, “Sell Out”, “Beer” and “Where have you been”. We also heard bits and pieces of cover songs from Less Than Jake, The Offspring, and their signature cover song “Brown eyed Girl”. It was really entertaining when they played small pieces of cover songs because the crowd would get all into the song and then RBF would abruptly stop, and say “wait this isn’t our song” proceeding to psych out the whole crowd each time they did it.

Their final song was top hit “Take on Me”. The crowd roared as everyone shouted each lyric to the song. Once the set ended the band gave out their set lists, guitar picks and broken drumstick to ecstatic fans.

This Reel Big Fish performance was hands down one of my 10 favorite shows I have ever been to. If you have the opportunity to see them live I highly suggest doing so.
Suburban Legends Set-List:
1. Just Be Happy
2. Dance Dance Dance
3. You Got A Friend In Me
4. Friendzone
5. BSM
6. Thank You For Being A Friend
7. Kiss The Girl/Sweet Caroline
8. Under The Sea
9. Warrior
10. Whoa
11. High Fives

Reel Big Fish Set-List:
1. Everything Sucks
2. Alternative Baby
3. Veronica Sawyer
4. Kids Don’t Like/ F.U
5. Cheer up / In The Pit
6. Party Down
7. All I Want Is More
8. Ban The Tube Top
9. Don’t Start a Band
10. Trendy/Yer Guts/Hedfonz
11. Brown Eyed Girl
12. I want Yer GF
13. I Know U/She Has a gf
14. Sell Out
15. Asshole
16. Where U Been
17. Beer
18. Take On Me

Related Links:
Reel Big Fish Website
Suburban Legends Website
The Maxies Website

Article by: Julia Goodman
Photos By: Katey Schoenberger aka Madharmony

More Photos from the night…