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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, November 15, 2002

Unfried, Reel Big Fish to play Sunday

Reel Big Fish, from left, Tyler Jones, Matt Wong, Aaron Barrett, Scott Klopfenstein, Dan Regan and Carlos de la Garza, survived a recent tour-bus fire and will play a gig at World Café this weekend.

Richard Harbaugh

Reel Big Fish with Go Jimmy Go

7 p.m. Sunday
World Café

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

If Reel Big Fish pays the occasional homage to a higher power at its Sunday evening World Café concert, you might want to let 'em off the hook.

The Fish are coming to Hawai'i a month after nearly being fried when its tour bus caught fire outside a Columbia, Mo., truck stop. The Orange County, Calif.-based band was asleep in the coach when its driver — seeing smoke rising from the vehicle on his way back from buying a cup of joe — awoke them and got them out of the vehicle, which was eventually consumed by fire.

Driver Ron Mullholland "was nice enough to come in and say, 'Get off the bus or you will all die,' " trumpet player Tyler Jones told the Associated Press last month. A faulty generator caused the Oct. 12 blaze.

The ska-punky Fish are touring behind their infectiously catchy third CD "Cheer Up!" released in June. So far an underperformer on Billboard's Top 200 album chart, "Cheer Up!" has maintained residency on KTUH-FM's New Music Top 10 through last week. The CD is the band's first for "we-don't-want-to-be-known-as-the-label-that- gave-the-world-Britney-anymore-but-hey-isn't-Tool-cool?" Jive Records.

The band is a longtime favorite of local concertgoers, many of whom still hold an undying and seemingly bottomless love for all things ska. (The audience may have cheered appreciatively for "Hey Baby" at No Doubt's recent Blaisdell concert, but it knew all the words to "Sunday Morning" and "Excuse Me Mr.") No surprise, then, that Reel Big Fish have shown up for Honolulu concerts four times in the last six years.

Another nugget of island reality likely holding some appeal: No tour bus to speak of.