Reel Big Fish lures fans to dance, laugh with high-energy music

September 11, 2013 | Events, UToday
By Samantha Watson

Reel Big Fish’s latest album Candy Coated Fury returns to the energetic ska and biting wit the band specializes in.

Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish

The group’s first album of original material in five years mirrors the music of its first two discs when ska bands such as Sublime and No Doubt ruled American airwaves. That upbeat, fun music that mixes modern sound with jazzy brass instruments is back with the songs “I Know You Too Well to Like You Anymore” and “Your Girlfriend Sucks.”

“When you come to a Reel Big Fish show, you come to have a good time,” said John Christianson, trumpet player for the California-based band. “You come to laugh with us, you come to dance … You come for a good experience.”

“Don’t Stop Skankin’” is his favorite off the new album because it’s an instrumental that can still get people to dance. It also features a solo by Christianson.

“I’ve wanted to be able to make a living playing music all my life,” Christianson said. “To be able to just play the trumpet — it’s crazy that I can do that in 2013.”

Christianson was pursuing a degree in music when he was asked to join Reel Big Fish by front man Aaron Barrett, who had worked with him previously when they were with The Forces of Evil. Although the band often plays on college campuses, Christianson is the only member to have graduated from college.

Reel Big Fish — Christianson, Barrett, trombonist Dan Regan, drummer Ryland Steen, bassist Derek Gibbs and saxophonist Matt Appleton — will go back to school to perform at Music Fest Friday, Sept. 13, at 9 p.m. outside the Memorial Field House on UT’s Main Campus.

The band will play some of its most popular songs like “Beer,” “Take on Me,” “Sell Out” and “She Has a Girlfriend Now,” as well as some songs from Candy Coated Fury, which was released in 2012.

Music Fest 2013, which is free and open to the public, will start at 3 p.m. and feature performances by The White Panda, Josh Gracin, Alexander Zonjic with The Motor City Horns, The Contours featuring Sylvester Potts and The Lonely Friends.

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