Reel Big Fish, Anti Flag and Mad Caddies October 2017, Newcastle O2 Academy
By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)
Fireball Whiskey have the right idea with these yearly package tours. Send out four touring bands of a similar fan base add a local band to the bill and cap the ticket price to a tenner and BOOM pretty much packed out show and value for money even with shorter sets than you’d get seeing fewer bands!! Add to the mix reps dishing out Fireball samples and a DJ playing massive ska/pop-punk anthems and you have a crowd thinking its actually a Saturday on a midweek night. I have to say I sadly missed the first two bands even though the night was actually running late when I got there BUT the place was already jumping and folk seemed oblivious to the time problems.
Mad Caddies took to the stage with a set of ska and reggae-tinged tunes creating a very cool vibe! The band have been going for ages so a short set was always going to have miss out some favourites but with the time they were given they made a great job of the situation!
The tempo is taken up a notch and a half next with Anti Flag using the full stage to run, spin and jump all over the place whilst belting out their political punk rock to a very enthusiastic crowd. Again due to time constraints and the night running late Anti Flag’s set was shorter than expected BUT the managed to get their message across as well as getting a huge circle pit going and having a couple of tunes with the Reel Big Fish brass section! By the time Reel Big Fish were due to take the stage the reps were free pouring Fireball into the mouths of the front row faithful and the party atmosphere was well underway!
Reel Big Fish have been the party band of the ska punk scene for years and tonight was no exception, alongside the expected hits of Beer, I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend their versions of Journey/Van Halen/Nirvana/Bosstones/Lit and of course, Aha just kept the party going. It was a shame about the lateness cutting the sets BUT for a £10 ticket, you really couldn’t complain. See you all again at next years for more of the same!
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