Catch Reel Big Fish in Grand Junction |

Catch Reel Big Fish in Grand Junction

Sharon Sullivan
Reel Big Fish performs Thursday, Jan. 16, at Mesa Theater and Lounge in Grand Junction.
Submitted photo |


WHAT: Reel Big Fish

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 16; Doors open 8 p.m.

WHERE: Mesa Theater and Lounge, 538 Main St.

COST: $20

INFO: 970-241-1717

Reel Big Fish blends ska, punk, reggae and lots of rock and roll to create a “cosmopolitan-sounding band that has a little something for everyone,” Reel Big Fish drummer Ryland Steen said.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term “ska,” it refers to a type of music that originated in Jamaica that has evolved over time.

“It’s sort of like a rhythm and blues version of reggae, but happier, bouncier,” Steen said.

“Through the years there have been many waves of ska. It has incorporated some punk aspects.”

Reel Big Fish returns to Grand Junction for a performance at Mesa Theater and Lounge, 538 Main St., on Thursday, Jan. 16.

“I always look forward to the Reel Big Fish shows,” Mesa Theater owner Andy Pittman said. “They are legends in the ska world and always bring high energy and professionalism to all of their performances. This is a concert that is guaranteed to turn into a party.”

Steen is joined by lead singer and guitar player Aaron Barrett, who Steen describes as a “musical mastermind;” Billy Kottage on trombone; trumpet player John Christenson; Matt Appleton on saxophone; and bass player Derek Gibbs.

The band formed while the members were still in high school in Orange County, where they were influenced by the southern California ska scene. The lineup has changed a few times as musicians moved on while others came in.

When the group was signed to a major record label in the mid-1990s, the band gained international success and began constantly touring, Steen said.

Reel Big Fish tours internationally and is typically on the road more than 200 days a year.

While the band writes a lot of their own material, they’re also known for the songs they cover, such as “Take on Me” by a Swedish band. The group has recorded seven albums, some all original songs, others cover albums.

Their newest, “Candy Coated Fury,” is a little more than a year old.

“Aaron has a knack for writing about life experiences people can relate to,” Steen said.

“We’re real excited to be coming to play this show. We hope people will put their dancing shoes on and have a good time.”

After Colorado, the band heads for Arizona, then England.

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