Reel Big Fish, Five Iron Frenzy

Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish was one of the legions of Southern California ska-punk bands to edge into the mainstream following the mid-’90s success of No Doubt and Sublime. Like most of their peers, the band was distinguished by their hyperkinetic stage shows, juvenile humor, ironic covers of new wave pop songs, and metallic shards of ska. The group cultivated an underground following that broke into the mainstream in summer 1997, when their single “Sell Out” became a modern rock radio and MTV favorite. Their appearance in the movie “Baseketball” as the halftime band also gained them more fans and helped the bands popularity to grow. Still fronted by original lead singer and song writer Aaron Barrett, they continue releasing albums and touring relentlessly, playing more and more countries and bigger venues all over the world.

Reel Big Fish recorded its self-released debut album, “Everything Sucks”, in 1995. “Everything Sucks” became a word-of-mouth underground hit in ska-punk and college circles, which gave the band enough leverage to sign with the indie label Mojo Records. The label’s president, Jay Rifkin, and former Oingo Boingo bassist John Avila co-produced “Turn the Radio Off”, which marked Reel Big Fish’s first album for Mojo. “Turn the Radio Off” was unleashed in August 1996, and over the next year, the group continually toured in support of the album’s release, expanding their fan base all the while. In spring 1997, the single “Sell Out” began receiving heavy airplay from several influential modern rock stations in the U.S., which soon translated into MTV support for the song’s quirky video. By summer, the song had become a moderate modern rock hit, and the album had charted in the Top 100.

In 1998 the song “Take on Me” from the “Baseketball” motion picture soundtrack was released as the promotional single for the movie and once again found the band in regular rotation on rock radio and MTV in the USA.

The Album “Why Do They Rock So Hard” followed a year later, once again enlisting Oingo Boingo Bassist John Avila as producer. The album was not as commercially successful but is still regarded by many fans as the bands finest work. The band filmed a music video for “the Set up (You Need This)”, the only single released from this album.

The guys wound up on Jive Records in fall 2001 when their current label, Mojo, was bought by Jive’s parent label, Zomba. Reel Big Fish’s first release for Jive, a more rock-oriented record entitled “Cheer Up!”, appeared in mid-2002. This album was very successful in Europe with the video for the single “Where Have You Been” receiving heavy airplay on many music video channels.

The band’s next album, the cynical yet catchy “We’re Not Happy ‘Til You’re Not Happy”, was issued in April 2005. Touring continued for the rest of the year, and Reel Big Fish happily parted ways with Jive in January 2006, having wished to be dropped from the label since the “Cheer Up!” release.

In August 2006, the group self-released a double-disc live CD (along with an accompanying DVD) titled “Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album”. A few months later — and much to the annoyance of the band — Jive issued its own Reel Big Fish album, a best-of compilation entitled “Greatest Hit…and More”. Reel Big Fish received no money from the album’s sales, as Jive Records now owned the rights to the bulk of their songs. The band has urged fans not to buy this album because it was not approved by them and the sound quality is inferior.

Nevertheless, the band returned with some new material in February 2007, splitting an EP “Duet All Night Long” with their friends in Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer. “Monkeys for Nothin’ and the Chimps for Free” followed several months later, marking Reel Big Fish’s first full-length studio release since leaving Jive’s roster, and 2009′s “Fame, Fortune and Fornication” found the band covering songs by the likes of Poison, the Eagles, and Tom Petty.

The band’s latest release is called “A Best of Us for the Rest of Us”. It includes a 22 song disc of re-recorded hits and classic fan favorites as well as a bonus disc of 14 Acoustic or “SKAcoustic” versions.

Reel Big Fish continues to tour non-stop, playing over 250 shows a year to thousands of loyal fans all over the world, gaining more and more underground popularity as the Ska scene continues to flourish.

Five Iron Frenzy

Five Iron Frenzy is back. Eight years after calling it quits at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO the band has clawed its way out of the muck and mire of simply holding down day jobs and has added to its list of responsibilities, song writing, making and shipping tshirts and playing shows. The credit for bringing back the now undead band goes to the fans who overwhelmingly supported a Kickstarter project for a new FIF album.

The band's new single "Dark & Stormy Night" was released on Nov. 22, 2011 as a free download to fans. Proof that the band was serious about a comeback. It was downloaded over 30K times in the first two weeks of its release.

On April 28, 2012 the band preformed for the first time in 8 years. The comeback was real and had begun. "Its been a long time. We've missed you a lot" said Reese Roper, lead singer for Five Iron Frenzy, as the band took the stage for the first time after their break-up. The band's first show back wasn't just another concert, it was a family reunion. Many of the 600 fans packed into Denver's popular Casselman's Bar & Grill had been fans of Five Iron Frenzy before the 2003 break up. The online video stream of the show saw over 1,000 live feeds. There were both local Denver fans and fans in attendance from as far away as Australia who flew-in just for the event.

"We can't even quit good"
- Five Iron Frenzy

Recording of the new (yet to be titled) album is currently in progress with a release and supporting shows in 2013.

Beautiful Bodies

When guitarist Thomas Becker approached singer Alicia Solombrino about playing music together, one small thing stood in their way: 4,500 miles to be specific. Becker, a Harvard-educated lawyer, was living in Bolivia, where he was suing the former president for human rights violations, and Solombrino was in Kansas City, making music with bassist Luis Arana.

Despite the distance, the three began writing songs together, sending rough recordings back and forth. Quickly, they realized that the chaotic blend of punk, dance, new wave, and rock they were creating clicked, so Becker put his law career on hold and joined the band. Within only a few months, the band released a single that received regular rotation on modern rock and college stations in the Midwest, and they were sharing the stage with groups like Smashing Pumpkins and My Chemical Romance. Becker moved back to the U.S., and the band has been barreling forward ever since.

Known for their "charismatic" (HITS Daily Double), "hard rocker" (USA Today), "high energy" (Kansas City Star), even "orgiastic" (Pitch Magazine) live shows, Beautiful Bodies have played with an array of artists ranging from Jane's Addiction to Paramore to TV on the Radio, making converts of concertgoers everywhere they play. Solombrino's magnetic – and at times, mischievous – personality has conjured up comparisons to Blondie, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Runaways. Their music – a combination of habit-forming hooks and blisteringly loud guitars – has been featured on television programs and at professional sports games and New York Fashion Week. The band recently got off tour with Reel Big Fish, and the band was crowned the winners of Ernie Ball's Warped Tour Battle of the Bands, which included 32,000 bands. The band heads to LA this spring to record a full-length album with John Feldmann (Panic at the Disco, The Used, Neon Trees). Expect fantastically chaotic results.

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Reel Big Fish, Five Iron Frenzy

Thursday, November 14 · 6:00 PM at The Chance

Tickets Available at the Door