Reel Big Fish & Bowling For Soup Take Over Orlando For An Evening Of Pop Punk, Ska & Laughs (Photo Gallery + Review)


By Cortney Lesovoy

Early 2000’s pop-punk and ska-punk collided at House of Blues Orlando in Lake Buena Vista on June 21 with Reel Big Fish and Bowling For Soup. This energetic headlining duo along with opening band Nerf Herder sold out the venue a day before putting on arguably one of the best Florida shows Reel Big Fish has ever seen.

The line to get into the show wrapped around the venue well before 7 p.m., and by the time the show began at 8 p.m., there was no space to move no matter if you were in the pit or standing atop the balcony.

Santa Barbara, California’s Nerf Herder opened the show with their popular song “Vivian,” setting the mood for the night’s rock show as they sang “We’ve got a show tonight, and it’s gonna be classic.” The geek-rock band went on to sing their most popular songs, one of which talks about the band opening for Weezer. They ended the night with “Raining Tacos,” which is exactly what you’d think a song about tacos falling from the sky would be about and was no doubt a crowd-favorite.

At 9 p.m. Bowling for Soup took the stage as both a band and a group of stand-up comedians. The four-piece rock band started their set with hit songs “Emily” and “Almost.” At the end of the second song, lead vocalist and guitar player Jaret Reddick announced that was the only time tonight that the band would be playing two consecutive songs, and he wasn’t lying.

During their 15-song set that lasted about an hour and a half, the band took breaks during every song. Reddick claimed the band isn’t as young as they once were, and some of them have gained a little weight. To fill the time between songs, the band had a best-joke contest, took time for fans to have a photo op. and talked about their 25 years of being a band. Fans were especially rowdy during the songs “Punk Rock 101,” “1985” and Phineas and Ferb theme song “Today Is Gonna Be a Great Day.”

Reel Big Fish took the stage around 10:40 p.m. and opened the show with “Trendy” for all the long-time RBF fans. With every song, the crowd was unwavering in their bellowing of lyrics back to the band on stage. The songs “I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too,” “I Know You Too Well To Like You Anymore,” “She Has A Girlfriend Now,”  “Sell Out,” and “Everyone Else Is An Asshole” were especially chaotic. People moshed and surfed above the crowd to the sound brass instruments playing third-wave ska.

The band ended their two hour, 20 song set with a fitting spin to the cover of “Closing Time” by Semisonic and their go-to cover song “Take On Me” by A-ha, a bittersweet ending to a top-tier Reel Big Fish performance.

There’s no doubt that after 28 years of being a band, Reel Big Fish is still going strong with no plans of slowing down. With the Life Sucks… Let’s Dance! release seven months prior, old fans and new will be enjoying the ska-punk band for years to come.

Reel Big Fish :



Bowling For Soup :



Nerf Herder :


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