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July 23, 2007

Less Than Jake & Reel Big Fish: Avalon, Boston MA 7.18.07

I really didn’t know what to expect when I was told I would be covering the double-headliner Less Than Jake/Reel Big Fish show at Avalon in Boston. Ska is one genre of music I’m completely unfamiliar with, and I don’t think I was prepared for the scene I was about to walk into. I arrived at Avalon during the second of the two opening bands, which were Streetlight Manifesto and Against All Authority. The venue resembled a high school gym full of sweaty, crazy kids, and I found that to be a completely accurate description as the show went on.  Let’s just say that this was quite a different experience than the John Mayer show I went to the night before.




After the openers, Less Than Jake came out onto the stage like they were contestants on The Price Is Right, and the stage had banners and props to make it look like the TV show set. They introduced the lead singer as “Bob Boner” (and that’s the first and last vulgar reference during their set that I’ll mention in this blog). After every couple songs, the band would call people onstage to answer ridiculous trivia questions such as: “How many Fenway Franks did Less Than Jake eat from the street cart today before the show?” Losers would receive consolation prizes like tickets to last week’s show, and winners would get to spin a wheel for prizes like a dollar and the chance to pick the next song. The band left the stage reminding the audience to have their pets spayed or neutered, obviously.



Reel Big Fish came out next and played with a lot less showiness than Less Than Jake, but got the crowd just as excited as they were during the first set. Because I’m not exactly involved with the ska scene, I can’t say much about the songs, but all the music I heard at this show was really upbeat (and really loud). All the band members of both groups were definitely talented musicians, though, considering they could manage playing everything from trumpets to guitars while jumping all around the stage and singing.

My most distinct memory of this show, however, was the audience. I couldn’t help but feel like a grandma sitting at the bar, avoiding crowdsurfing, and wishing I had brought a few Tylenol, because all of the kids at this show were going completely insane. While I was in the photo pit, I was hit by several crowdsurfers and the security guards attempting to control them. I have to admit that being up in the front, between the bands and the fans, was the most exciting part of the show. The bands were a lot of fun to photograph, and the fans were even more fun to watch. The energy throughout the entire show was amazing. Ska might not be my top choice in music, but I would definitely go to one of these shows again for the experience of being in a room full of people who are hardcore fans and not afraid to show it. 

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these shots are amazing!!!!!!!!!


you were REALLY up close, the pics look cool. I'm not a ska fan either, i didn't even know that was a genre :) Can't wait to read about Hanson!!


wow, what a show, and what a picture. damn girl.


one word for this blog. a-m-a-z-i-n-g!


very interesting melissa. nice work up there on the front lines!


less than jake is sweet. nice photos and coverage. really well done miss.


great work m-money. you are still on top of your game!


Best pics so far. Way to push your way to the front!


I was at this show, crowd was crazy, felt like I was back in highschool! Less than Jake's Bob Bonner haha!


I was at this show, CRAZY ASS FANS!!!


not really into this type of music but seems like it was something to experience nice pictures!!


not so big on this music but nice pics


nice pics!


agreed! sweet pictures!!


I wish I had gotten to go to this one!


cant say i like this kind of music but sweet pics again!


cant say i like this kind of music but sweet pics again!


Sounds like something I would have enjoyed


Not into Ska but sweet pics


Not into Ska but sweet pics


weird band! awesome shots of band!


Wow, if you feel like a grandma...I feel really old. Good job.


A concert is so much more fun when the audience is really into it. Sounds like it was a good time!


Enjoyed the pics on this blog. Helps to be right up front. Excellent!


I wish I had gone, Reel Big Fish always put on a really fun show, but it sounds like the crowd was a bit much. Pics are great though.

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