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Reel Big Fish, and Catch 22
November 29, 2000
At Fitzgerald's
Houston, TX

by Samuel Barker
December 6, 2000

Catch 22
File Under: Punk/Ska
Bands Performing:
1. Catch 22 
2. Reel Big Fish 
related links
  • Reel Big Fish
  • Catch 22
  • Mojo Records
  • Victory Records
  • Disaster comes at the least expected times, and this was a night of disaster for me. I got to the club right as Bowling For Soup was finishing up their set only to learn that I wasn't on Catch 22's guestlist and Reel Big Fish was late in getting their guestlist to the door. I stood and frantically tried to find a way to get myself and my assistants in to see the show. Finally after making pleas to everyone, the club found Reel Big Fish's guestlist, which they had the entire time. By time I got in Catch 22 was already a few songs into their set.

    Catch 22 was superb. They tore through their set and had all the kids in the house jumping. I was stoked to get some great shots of this band getting everyone behind them. It was at this moment I learned the batteries in my flash had died, so I was left with poor lighting and no flash, so I was unable to get any decent pictures of this band. I however took this as a plus as opposed to a negative. I took the opportunity of freedom to jump into the crowd and dance away. I'm not a big fan of ska anymore because it's become a stagnant boring genre, but Catch 22 is one of the few bands left with a strong pulse and some great songs. I jumped, bounced, and danced my way to a great time.

    As Reel Big Fish began their set I was full of doubt. I was scared because I knew Aaron Barrett had broken his leg and I didn't know if he was going to be able to pull off guitar and vocals while balancing on one leg. Well, when they came out all my fears came true. Aaron wasn't playing guitar, and they had a backup guitarist who looked kinda out of place. They began with "Hate You" and everything was fine, but then after 2 songs they introduced the guitarist, James Monroe, and everything went to hell. For some reason he decided he could play like Aaron Barrett, but he couldn't. He kept trying to play all the cool metal riffs Barrett plays and he just fell short. I've seen Reel Big Fish a great number of times and this was by far the worst. I love them as a band and they always put on a hell of a show, but without Barrett being able to do his thing it all falls to hell. Thank god for Matt Wong's bass lines which gave me something to smile about. The set wasn't bad, but it wasn't Reel Big Fish. I commend Aaron for being a man and playing through, but sometimes it's better to sit back for a while and wait for the real thing!

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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