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Playing Around: Reel Big Fish 

click to enlarge Reel Big Fish
  • Reel Big Fish

Remember those kids in elementary school who chased you around the playground, flicked you, kicked your chair, sang annoying songs about your underwear, said, "Do you wanna see a train wreck?" and showed you a mouthful of chewed-up lunch? Well, they're famous now. Seven of those high-strung glue-eaters linked up in Orange County, Calif., to form the action-packed Reel Big Fish.

The band began with crooner Aaron Barrett, bassist Matt Wong and drummer Andrew Gonzales cranking out Wham! covers and trying desperately to emulate metal hair bands Warrant and Poison. After catching a whiff of the new ska sound wafting through Southern California, they added horn players who drifted in and out of the band. Finally, they gelled with trombonists Grant Barry and Dan Regan and trumpet players Tavis Werts and Scott Klopfenstein, and Reel Big Fish was born. The Fish produced and released their debut album Everything Sucks, which quickly became an underground hit, selling thousands of copies. Mojo Records perked up their ears, signed the band and put them back in the studio to record a second album, Turn the Radio Off. The Fish channeled their frenetic energy into the music, blowing off steam by creating impromptu studio mosh pits, recording naked and destroying a toilet they later tried to repair with Super Glue and soap, finally completing the release.

A few years, one album, one Monday Night Football national-anthem performance and one movie appearance later, Reel Big Fish are still known most for their amazing live shows. Their little-kid energy is transformed into a musical power, meshing perfectly with the high-amp rhythms of ska. Reel Big Fish will be all over the stage at the Colorado Music Hall on Sunday night. All Fish shows are all-ages, and tickets to this one are $12, subject to service charges. Call 447-9797.

  • This week we highlight Reel Big Fish who will be performing at the Colorado Music Hall.

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