On July 3rd, The Beer Run Tour headlined by ska-masters Reel Big Fish stormed and danced on through the Simon Estes Amphitheater in Des Moines, Iowa. The Expendables, The Queers, and Tunnel Vision served as special guests for this fun-filled, action packed tour! Roughly 2,000 attendees danced and blitzed on through with Reel Big Fish and Co. in Des Moines. Soon, you will get to see our interview with Johnny Christmas of Reel Big Fish. Tunnel Vision was the first band to take the stage.
Out of San Diego, California, Tunnel Vision brought their brand of ska and a reggae vibe ala Sublime to the Simon Estes stage. Tunnel Vision is composed of Hayden Hanson on guitars/vocals, Jacob Hernandez on bass, Tanner Payan on drums/backup vocals, Matt Risley on keyboards, and Doug Alani on saxophone. Also on the stage was the trombone player for Reel Big Fish. Tunnel Vision had songs that composed of teenage angst, partying, and skateboarding, which is appropo for a band of this genre, especially out of San Diego. They had a good vibe about them, as they did a great job warming up the Des Moines crowd with their unique, yet familiar brand of ska/reggae with a punk twist. If you want to learn more about Tunnel Vision, check them out here and here. New Hampshire’s own The Queers were next to take the stage.
What I failed to realize is how awesome the pioneer group The Queers really were. If you expect songs with serious messages or songs that are depressing, you have definitely looked for the wrong band in The Queers. The garage punk-rock trio completely blitzed the Simon Estes stage with their pioneering punk rock that would pave the way for bands like Green Day and NOFX, with songs that seem to take tongue-in-cheek looks at pedophilia with songs such as “Ursula Finally Has Tits” to songs about showing complete non-conformity in “This Place Sucks” to songs that talk about being completely young and stupid in “Teenage Bonehead”. What I appreciated about this set was that they blitzed on completely through, saying a “brief thank you” after about every three or four songs, and their rhythm section was an all-out blitz and they were showcasing what true legends they really were when it comes to pioneering the American punk rock movement. The Queers showcased what punk music is supposed to be, fun, with a middle-finger type of attitude while showcasing complete non-conformity to the societal norms that are placed upon us. You can find The Queers on Facebook here. Santa Cruz’s own The Expendables took the stage.
The Expendables had really cool amps that looked like pages from comic books. They showcased their laidback vibe, yet times of rocking out with their eclectic mix of reggae, ska, punk, and even tones of 80’s power metal to the Simon Estes stage. They promoted their “Moment” EP by playing their new single entitled “Goodbye For Now”, which features RDGLDGRN and they showcased their love for smoking marijuana by singing “I Want To Smoke Marijuana With You”. You had to be there, but the crowd was a bit puzzled during this part. Mind you, it wasn’t necessarily a punk crowd, there were a lot of middle aged people that brought their kids to the show as well as people that might have never heard of Reel Big Fish or any of the bands and just wanted to hear some music while gazing out at the Iowa River in the background behind the stage. The three band did what they needed to do, and that was get the crowd warmed up for Reel Big Fish. In the meantime, you can find The Expendables here and here. In the meantime, check out the single for “Goodbye For Now”.
Out of Orange County, California are the legendary ska-masters Reel Big Fish. Reel Big Fish brought an insanely good time to the Simon Estes stage. They played a ton of their classics from “Everything Sucks” and especially “Turn The Radio Off”, which many would consider to be a groundbreaking album for this particular genre. I absolutely dug the energy from the horn/brass section led by Billy Kottage on trombone, Matt Appleton on saxophone, and Johnny Christmas on trumpet. They are definitely the backbone of Reel Big Fish, supplying ample amounts of energy, hyping up the crowd, while singing and playing their collective instruments until the brass would seem to melt off the instruments. There was a massive fireworks display after the Iowa Cubs baseball game(which is about a mile east of the venue) and Reel Big Fish stopped to enjoy the grand finale of the fireworks display and Johnny Christmas proceeded to play the Star Spangled Banner on his trumpet while the crowd shared a moment of unison by singing the words to Star Spangled Banner. They incorporated a plethora of covers into the set, which ultimately payed homage to the artists while having that tongue-in-cheek vibe that Reel Big Fish has a trademark for and those covers include “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, a medley of “Dancin’ The Night Away” by Van Halen and “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, and “Living On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi. I loved how they started the night by throwing in a verse of “Talk Dirty To Me” by Poison. It really showcases that Reel Big Fish loves music, they love making sure that people get their money’s worth whether it’s their own songs or songs written by other bands/recording artists. That shows that Reel Big Fish has one goal in mind, and that is to make sure that people that bought a ticket are there to have a good time and to leave with a smile on their face and Reel Big Fish has shown why they have been around for 25 plus years, and that is because they are absolutely one of the most fun bands that I have ever witnessed on the live stage. To learn more about Reel Big Fish, go here and here. In the meantime, check out their smash entitled “Sell Out”.
Here are the remaining tour dates on The Beer Run tour:
Friday, July 7th at Gas Monkey Live! in Dallas, Texas
Saturday, July 8th at Concrete Street Amphitheater in Corpus Christi, Texas
Sunday, July 9th at White Oak Music Hall in Houston, Texas
Tuesday, July 11th at The Black Sheep in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Wednesday, July 12th at Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colorado
Thursday, July 13th at ZooMontana in Billings, Montana
Friday, July 14th at Lewis and Clark Brewing Company in Helena, Montana
Saturday, July 15th at Revolution Concert House in Garden City, Idaho
Sunday, July 16th at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California
Tuesday, July 18th at The Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz, California
Wednesday, July 19th at Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheatre in Fresno, California
Friday, July 21st at Out Of The Park Pizza in Anaheim, California
Sunday, July 23rd at Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California
On Sunday, September 10th, Reel Big Fish will be appearing at the WayBack PointFest at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, Missouri with Sublime With Rome, The Offspring, and The Urge. For tickets and further information, click here.