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Bowling For Soup Brings Comedy on Their Co-headliner with Reel Big Fish

Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup Photo by Jenna Kauffman

On Tuesday, June 25, The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD, made an interesting night with their line-up. Playing that night was Bowling For Soup (BFS), along with opener Nerf Herder and co-headliner Reel Big Fish. The line-up was three different genres: Nerf Herder bringing “nerd/geek rock,” Bowling For Soup more on the pop rock/punk side, and Reel Big Fish adding ska.

Nerf Herder
Opening act Nerf Herder
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Nerf Herder was an exclusive at this show, seeing as the rest of the tour with Bowling For Soup and Reel Big Fish will have the band MEST as the new opener. Nerf Herder did the run from June 19-29, which included The Fillmore show. Their set was interesting, having songs about how they once opened for Weezer “We Opened for Weezer,” and then another song about their love for tacos, a.k.a. “Raining Tacos.” So when they describe themselves as “nerd/geek rock,” it’s pretty accurate, as most of their songs are based on random experiences that only the ultimate fans of the topics would write about. However, this provided for an entertaining set. You can tell this group doesn’t take themselves too seriously, and that’s something enjoyable about them.

Jaret Reddick of Bowling For Soup
Jaret Reddick of Bowling For Soup
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Following Nerf Herder, Bowling For Soup played as the first co-headliner. And speaking of entertaining, these guys also brought that for their set. While their songs are less on the random side compared to Nerf Herder, that didn’t stop the comedy in-between songs. As soon as they came out, lead singer Jaret Reddick claimed he wasn’t drunk enough for the show, continuing to drink from his beer before they got started. Another moment of comedy occurred amid their playing of song “Punk Rock 101.” Before they could reach the song’s final chorus, the band stopped and announced a “musically enhanced photograph opportunity,” where Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” started to play and the band went around on certain spots on stage to pose for pictures for the audience to take for a solid minute or more. Afterwards, they explained how that stunt doesn’t really work overseas, as international fans have a hard time understanding what’s going on due to the language barrier. To say this band doesn’t bring convenience is false, for any fans that love to take photos!

Rob Felicetti of Bowling For Soup
Rob Felicetti of Bowling For Soup
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Another stand-out to their in-between comedy was when the group took another break between songs to have a joke contest, where each member told a corny joke of some sort, and they had the audience vote on whose joke was best. Surprisingly, Jaret won most of the audience’s applause, as he noted that the reigning champ was actually their drummer, Gary Wiseman. The lead singer was so stoked to finally beat him, and win for the first time.

Gary Wiseman of Bowling For Soup
Gary Wiseman of Bowling For Soup
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Along with the shenanigans, the group played their classic hits, including “Almost,” “High School Never Ends,” and wrapping up with their cover song, “1985,” which was a big hit when it was released in 2004. Along with this cover, they also covered the infamous song, “Stacy’s Mom,” originally by Fountains of Wayne. Another humorous moment came before Bowling For Soup’s original song, “Hey Diane,” in which lead singer Jaret said, “If you’re here for the songs you know, now’s the time to take a bathroom break.” The song isn’t as widely popular as it’s a later release, but they still rocked it and dedicated it to the inspiring Diane, who was at the show with them.

Chris Burney of Bowling For Soup
Guitarist Chris Burney of Bowling For Soup
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Along with Nerf Herder, though, Bowling For Soup also has their one song that has fans loving the corny meaning. This came with their performance of the Phineas and Ferb theme song, “Today is Gonna be a Great Day.” The band teased beforehand, asking if there was any fans of it, and saying, “Too bad, because we’re not gonna play it!” But then they finally launched into the 50-second song, which fans happily sang along to. Regardless of the fact that it’s for a former kids’ show, fans old and young both sang along, bringing a connection that only this band could bring.

Bowling For Soup
Bowling For Soup at The Fillmore
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Concluding the show was co-headliner Reel Big Fish, who brought a whole new vibe with not only more band members (six), but the different instruments that make them a ska band, including trumpet, trombone, and saxophone. They brought out their own hits, including “Sell Out,” and “Beer,” but also did their legendary covers of “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Take On Me.” So when it comes to commonality with Bowling For Soup, this group definitely has the skill of making cover songs some of their popular hits, and recreating them in a different way that listeners enjoy.

Reel Big Fish
Reel Big Fish jam on stage
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Two of the band members from Reel Big Fish, John Christianson and Matt Appleton, aided during Bowling For Soup’s “1985,” by playing trumpet and saxophone during BFS’s closing song. Also, during Bowling For Soup’s “Hooray for Beer,” they brought out the one member of Nerf Herder, Linus of Hollywood, who helped write the song and so he played with them as well. While the next leg will involve opener MEST, Bowling For Soup will probably find a way to involve them during their set as well. So this tour is a truly collaborative experience fans shouldn’t miss, if the show in Silver Spring is anything to go by.

The tour resumes with opener MEST on July 21. You can check out the upcoming dates here.