Reel Big Fish catches congeniality in Reno mosh pit

Tahoe Onstage
Reel Big Fish had Cargo Concert Hall from its first A-ha moment.
Pheonix Gruneich / Tahoe Onstage

Reel Big Fish delivered a “Sell Out” at the end of its high-energy set at Reno’s Cargo Concert Hall on Sunday night and, for an encore, reminded those in the crowd  “I Want Your Girlfriend to be My Girlfriend Too.”

Wow, nights like this sometimes are hard to describe in just a few paragraphs. The adage is true: Never miss a Sunday show. “Tickle my Tiki TOURch” rolled through the Biggest Little City, with Reel Big Fish leading the charge while Ballyhoo! and We are the Union provided ample support.

Tahoe OnstageFolks around town will be taking about the all-ages show for days to come, and those who missed out will regret it. The concert featured the friendliest mosh pit ever.

We Are The Union opened the evening. Formed in 2005, the band played a tight, super energetic set and warmed up the crowd in perfect ska style. Musicians worked the crowd after their set, meeting fans and selling CDs. That’s hustle.

Next up was Ballyhoo! The Aberdeen, Maryland, group first performed last century, in 1995. This photographer was lucky enough to see Ballyhoo! when it played at Lake Tahoe’s Whiskey Dick’s Saloon in 2010. Frontman Howi Spangler said he still remembers the South Shore show, just barely.  On this night, Ballyhoo! presented new, heavier music from its recently released album, “Detonate.”

When Reel Big Fish docked onstage, the dance floor quickly reassembled. The Orange County, California band has carried the punk/ska torch since the 1990s. Most in the well-schooled crowd sang every word to every song. Earlier, fans were talking about prior shows, and some said this was their first RBF experience. I was lucky enough to see them play in their early years and a few times since — they haven’t let me down yet.

The band opened with its well known cover the A-ha song “Take On Me” and progressed through a crowd-pleasing set. Reel Big Fish proves playing music keeps you young at heart. The musicians used the entire stage, jumping and dancing around like they were still in their early years — age has no number in music. They ended with the hit “Sell Out,” then came out for an encore, “I Want Your Girlfriend to be My Girlfriend Too.” We hope they come this way again soon.

 — Pheonix Gruneich

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The Ballyhoo! boys hit the merch area.

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We Are The Union Gets the party started in the Biggest Little City.

ABOUT Pheonix Gruneich

Pheonix Gruneich
Photojournalist Pheonix Gruneich is a native of Southern California where her love of music began. She moved to Tahoe when she was 16. She now resides in the Carson Valley. She is a lover of arts and, most of all, live music!

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