Reel Big Fish brings the unusual to Fort Collins (Collegian Feature)



Aritcle by Zoe Jennings. For more about this Collegian article, click here.

A polar bear mascot, Disney songs and a raging mosh pit – an unusual combination for most concerts, but nothing out of the ordinary for a typical ska show.

The Aggie hosted Reel Big Fish featuring The Maxies and Suburban Legends. The three ska bands played a sold-out show.

Ska encompasses a variety of sounds but usually ska music includes a danceable, two-tone beat and horns. Concert goers often dance in mosh pits to the driving beat.

The show started out with The Maxies. Between songs the Maxies’ lead singer, dressed in a sweat suit and mask, made obscene comments to the audience. The set featured an appearance by the band mascot, a polar bear.

The Maxies play at the Aggie. (Photo courtesy: The Maxies)

The Maxies play at the Aggie. (Photo courtesy: The Maxies)

Suburban Legends followed The Maxies’ set. Suburban Legends brought a happy vibe to the stage. In addition to their own songs, Suburban Legends played popular Disney songs. The crowd sang along as they played songs including, “Under the Sea,” “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” and “Kiss the Girl” in ska style. As they played songs, the band members danced in showy synchrony.

The headlining act was Reel Big Fish. Reel Big Fish is on their 25th anniversary tour. The crowd danced and moshed as Reel Big Fish played catchy songs. The dark and bitter lyrics of the songs contradicted the up-beat music. The band’s trumpet, saxophone and trombone players were a powerful trio that drove the songs. The band played songs including their hits, “Sell Out”, “Beer” and cover of “Take On Me”.

The mosh pit during the Reel Big Fish set was raging, taking over the Aggie floor. Participants would retreat to the outside of the floor to catch a breath from the fast-moving mob. By the end of the concert the audience was sweaty and tired but screaming for an encore.

It is a rare occurrence when all acts at a concert engage the audience. This concert was fun and engaging from beginning to end. All three bands played lively music and captured the audience with their entertaining stage-presence. The audience was on their toes and dancing the entire show, not knowing what was next.

Collegian A&C Reporter Zoe Jennings can be reached at