Reel Big Fish Skank The Nashville Cannery Ballroom

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By Alma Reed

Written by Wes Lytz

Ska punk legend Reel Big Fish skanked Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom Friday night. Here’s the scoop: 

Punk rock duo Dog Party opened the show to a packed house. Dog Party is two sisters Gwendolyn (drums/vox) and Lucy Giles (guitar/vox). Their style is like The Ramones or Joan Jett with a more laid back, California skater girl vibe.

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In typical punk fashion their songs are short and to the point. In a 45 minute set they must have blasted through 20 or more songs. It’s good they have a lot of material. A great start to the night as they deftly achieve the primary duty of the opening band: to get the crowd pumped. 

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Comedy rock band and TV crime-fighting superheroes The Aquabats! went up next. Best known as a new wave ska punk band in the 90’s and more recently for their action-comedy musical television series on The Hub (and later Netflix), their fan base spans two generations. Fans young and old proved there’s something for everyone at an Aquabats show as parents danced with their children and older concert goers skanked and sang in the pit. 

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Dressed in blue superhero cosplay outfits, The Aquabats deployed several props into the audience throughout the show, including inflatable sharks and at least one giant inflatable pizza slice. True to their “aqua” nature, they were also sure to dump several bottles of water into the audience. If you’re planning on being in the front row (or shooting photos in the pit), it may behoove you to bring a towel. For their coup de grace they brought as many kids as would safely fit onstage for the performance of their final song. The children were obviously thrilled as they boisterously wiggled and jiggled for the duration of the song. 

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Ska punk legends Reel Big Fish rounded out the evening’s festivities performing for a still enthusiastic and heavily perspiring audience. They opened the set with their songs Trendy and I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too.

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They added a few covers as well, including Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl, The Joker by Steve Miller Band and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. They closed with their hit song Sell Out before performing a four song encore to end the night. With lots of hijinks, horseplay and tomfoolery along the way, make sure you see Reel Big Fish next time they stop by.