Rain or Shine: Reel Big Fish Doesn’t Flop

Sydney Lowe

“This next song is funky and sexy,” lead singer Aaron Barrett shouted to a crowd full of 500 cold and wet college students. The Theta Chi Fraternity backyard was packed last Saturday night, September 26, when fun Californian ’90s ska punk band Reel Big Fish held a concert for the Colgate community.

“It would have been nice if it had been warmer and dryer,” Theta Chi President and senior Karl Fries said. “However, from the sound of it, Colgate seemed to have an awesome time.”

Theta Chi Vice President and Vice President of the Interfraternity Panhellenic Council (IFC) senior Michael Carini, who spearheaded the project, agreed.

“I thought it was a great live show, a ton of energy, overall very entertaining,” Carini said. “I wish the weather had held a little better, but even so, it was a lot of fun.”

But even the rainy weather couldn’t stop this quirky band from rocking out in downtown Hamilton. Known for their humorous lyrics, Reel Big Fish took the stage belting out ska crowd favorites such as “Beer,” “Sellout” and “She Has a Girlfriend Now.”

This isn’t the first time Theta Chi has brought musical artists to campus. Two years ago, Theta Chi helped bring Virginia Coaltion, a Virginia based rock folk group, to the Palace Theater. Three years ago, a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band played in the fraternity’s backyard.

“This year we chose Reel Big Fish because we wanted a group with some good name recognition but also a group that played a fun show that would appeal to a wide range of campus,” Carini said. “After determining what we could afford and looking at the options, Reel Big Fish were far and away the best choice and the availability worked.”

“We have been talking about bringing a ska band to campus for over a year,” Fries added. “Plus, many of the brothers at Theta Chi are fans of the band anyway.”

It seemed as though the Theta Chi brothers weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the Big Fish performance.

“I had so much fun at the concert!” first-year Hana Takada said. “The entire crowd was singing along and a bunch of people were crowd surfing. It didn’t even matter that it was raining.”

“I’m so glad I went to the concert, even if I had to carry an umbrella,” fellow first-year Terri Morris said. “They sounded like a mix between Bob Marley and Jack Johnson.”

In addition to bringing entertainment to the Colgate community, Theta Chi also had a nice opportunity to do some philanthropy work as well. The fraternity teamed up with the Colgate Hunger Outreach Program and the $5 donation money collected at the event is going directly to the local food cupboards that are most in need. The estimated count, according to Carini, is a few thousand dollars or more.

Besides the unwanted rain, the only glitch in the event would have been obtaining the noise permit. Hilariously enough, Hamilton doesn’t actually have an objective volume standard like most towns do. The police instead simply stop down to an event anytime they receive a noise complaint. And on Saturday, they stopped in to the event no less than three times.

“Even so,” Carini recounted of the drop-ins, “the police could have been a lot more of a problem, so we appreciate them working with us.”

So what’s up next on the Theta Chi musical agenda?

“While funding is a major issue for most concerts right now, Theta Chi is definitely throwing around the idea of doing some kind of DJ or mashup group such as The Hood Internet or Super Mash Bros,” Carini said. “Guess you’ll have to find out come spring.”

Contact Sydney Lowe at [email protected]