Over the last couple of years, Fireball have really taken up Jagermeister’s lead of helping to provide great live music at very affordable prices. The Fireball Fuelling The Fire Tour is another example of that, and Rock Sins was on hand at the second London show to see what went down!
Opening tonight was London’s local competition winners The Bottom Line (5). The Bottom Line definitely did not have an easy job tonight, opening a show of this size is never easy, especially with such early doors. The Pop Punk quartet aren’t going to let this phase them though and they seem to be having the time of their lives on stage. The Bottom Line really are Pop Punk by numbers, they’ve even made sure to include a cover of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag”, although this might be slightly cliché for the sober members of this small crowd, others seem to love it and the band definitely feed off of that. The Bottom Line are definitely nothing unique or original, but they’re loving every second of playing today and that might be the most important factor for an opening band tonight.
Next up tonight is Sweet Little Machine (5), similar to The Bottom Line, Sweet Little Machine definitely don’t bring anything new to the stage tonight but that doesn’t stop them from delivering a sweet and short set of Punk Rock songs and having a whole lot of fun while they do. It’s clear there is a small group of very dedicated fans here for Sweet Little Machine tonight and the band show their gratitude for that with every song they play. In a room this size, it’s incredibly easy for opening bands to feel very disconnected to the crowd, but that isn’t the case here, the band interact with the crowd as comfortably as they probably would at any smaller show and keep things very fun and lighthearted for the duration of their set.
By the time Mad Caddies (7) take to the stage the room has finally begun to fill up and there is definitely a change of tone with how excited people are for this set. Mad Caddies are just the first of three bands to play a set that easily could have headlined this room tonight and the crowd definitely agrees. The band deliver an incredibly high energy set but somehow make it seem completely effortless at the same time. By the time of Mad Caddies set, everyone here has definitely had enough to drink to finally start skanking and let’s me honest, that’s what we’re all here for.
After singer Chuck Robertson introduces a song by saying “this is a shake your ass song” I don’t think anyone in this room has the willpower to even consider standing still any longer. Mad Caddies keep up this energy throughout their entire set and it’s such a pleasure to see a band 22 years into their career still performing with such high energy and loving being onstage as much as Mad Caddies are. The vibe in the room is now just incredible and definitely ready for what’s to come next.
Anti-Flag (9) are on insane form tonight. The opening run of This Is The End, Fuck Police Brutality and Drink Drank Punk really gets the crowd fired up. Whether its the first of many circle or the entire room raising their middle fingers for Fuck Police Brutality there is an amazing vibe in the crowd for this set. Anti-Flag have never been shy about their political views and with the current situation in America they are more passionate than ever. It’s a passion that infects the entire room and creates such a positive atmosphere. Bringing out the brass section for When The Wall Falls is a great moment and Chris #2 powerful speech about standing alongside all minority groups and marginalised communities really makes an impact.
It isn’t all just speeches and politics though, as Anti-Flag do have plenty of fantastic songs. Fan favourites like Turncoat and One Trillion Dollars get everyone singing and their cover of Should I Stay Or Should I Go is a lot of fun. Still its the closing combo of Die For Your Goverment and Brandenberg Gate that really are the highlight. With the latter seeing the drumkit being brought into the crowd and Chris #2 performing stood on top of it, leading the crowd through one last sing along that continues long after Anti-Flag have finished playing.
It’s a set that Reel Big Fish (7) can’t quite match but they still provide an immensely fun close to the evening. For a band many consider to be a one hit wonder from the 90’s, it’s impressive that Reel Big Fish can still headline two nights at The Forum. But then when it actually comes to their live show it isn’t that surprising. If you’re into ska punk at all then there’s no way Reel Big Fish wouldn’t appeal to you. It might all be a little bit samey and very silly, but given how drunk the crowd was by the time they came on, there’s no way everyone wasn’t gonna have a fun time. All of the jokes are very silly and little bit crude but it’s just so cartoonish and it all just works tonight.
The band take plenty of time to mock their status as a one hit wonder band by covering several 90’s hits before playing Sellout, which obviously gets the entire room dancing. Their encore, which consisted of many versions of S.R. in numerous different styles ranging from country to thrash metal is again very silly, but still gets plenty of laughs. And the final cover of Take On Me ends the gig in suitably silly fashion. It might have ultimately been an hour of very disposable music but it’s hard to deny that Reel Big Fish can still put on one hell of a fun show.