A huge show filled with amazing punk and ska bands awaits the 02 Academy in Leeds on this cool October Sunday evening.
First up we have local competition winners Eat Defeat, although their set was quite early and not too long after doors the room was reasonably full with more people still coming in due to the extensive searches upon entry. Their unique blend of ska and pop punk sounds resonated with the audience quite well. Being a relatively small unknown band didn’t stop them from interacting with the crowd throughout their set. They even managed to get a singalong of their lyric “I think we’ll be ok” during their final song.
Following on from Eat Defeat we have Sheffield based band Sweet Little Machine whom were recently voted Fireballs Hottest band for 2017. Their 90s pop punkesque sound had a large portion of the crowd singing along and egged the crowd on to do a “Yorkshire” chant. The whole performance was very crowd orientated with frontman Alex discussing with the crowd how everyone hates someone and asked an audience member for the person they hate. Which turned out to be his ex-wife Melanie, this was then used as a lyric in the next song to the amusement of everyone in attendance. Ending their performance with Alex jumping off stage and running around the venue with his guitar getting everyone pumped was an amazing way to end an incredible performance.
Ska legends Mad Caddies were next up to take the stage. With very minimal effort these guys had the whole crowd in the palm of their hand. With sing-along’s all the way through the set from the new songs to tracks that were 20 years old such as Monkeys. The First pit of the night even broke out to Monkeys.
Next up we had punk legends Anti-Flag bringing their angry anti-establishment, anti-hatred sound to Leeds. Their huge energy performance filled with jumping guitarists and bassists got the crowd extremely pumped. The band even managing to get a circle pit opening up to almost the whole width of the room. To add to this outstanding performance they even brought out the brass section for Reel Big Fish for a quick guest spot during a song. Bassist Chris also decided to jump into the crowd for one song to the excitement of the devoted fans at the front row.
Now time for the headline act, Reel Big fish enter the stage to the roar of the eager fans of this almost sold out event. The crowd were clearly pumped (the free fireball whiskey shots may have helped) and the band matched them all the way through. The whole set was ridiculously fun for not only the band but for the audience too, with fireball beach balls flying around the venue throughout the whole set. On top of their outstanding back catalogue the band threw in a mash up of covers including Nirvana, Weetus and Journey among others. Their set ended on their infamous cover of Take On Me.