Castleton students weren’t very hungry – not many people showed up for some Reel Big Fish. The Student Association Activities Board hosted the first ever Castlefest on Sunday, April 29, with artists Schutefurmunde, Duane Carleton and the Backwoods Messiahs, Revision and headliners Reel Big Fish.
“Are they good? I’ve never listened to them before,” asked senior Mackenzie Sivret.
In response to the disappointingly small turn out of around 200 people, Adrian Hill said, “It pisses me off, I’m ashamed, we go to a liberal arts school, what’s more liberal than music?” said Hill.
The students that did attend seemed to enjoy the show.
When Reel Big Fish got on stage, Scott Klopfenstein, who plays the trumpet, guitar and sings backup in the band, started the performance like a high school pep-rally.
He yelled, “Yeah, go Mayflower Conference Champions, Men’s Tennis 1997.we wanted to start with the encore first,” said Klopfenstein.
Reel Big Fish began the show by playing the hit song “Trendy,” the term trendy describes the band to a tee. Reel Big Fish play a blend of ska, basically jazz on crack and punk rock. The band also entertains the audience with comedy between songs making for a very fun concert.
Lead singer and guitarist Aaron Barrett was dressed to party, rocking a Hawaiian t-shirt and blue jeans. His guitar playing was fast, wild and had a thrashing punk sound.
At one point, Barrett grabbed a sign from an audience member with the song title “Nothin”, it had a black background with white lettering. Barrett made a big stink because the title was spelled wrong saying he wouldn’t play the song until the sign was fixed. They then played the song.
Klopfenstein looks like he should be in the band Weezer with that nerdy look because he wears Drew Carey style eyeglasses and a black collared shirt.
Klopfenstein introduced “She’s Got a Girlfriend Now” by forming devil horns with both hands and interlocking them together to symbolize lesbian sex.
“Sometimes sex isn’t about conception. This song is about two lesbians, yeah a girl left this guy for a girl (referring to Barrett),” said Klopfenstein.
Dan Regan, who plays trombone, looked very interesting. He has crazy sideburns and wore a grey fedora hat with a matching suit jacket and cameo shorts.
One song, Regan really got into and played his lungs out, causing a moshpit to erupt like a volcano in the audience. People started bouncing around with their fists raised high until broken up by security.
“It sucks, they won’t let us mosh,” said sophomore Jon White.
John Christianson, the trumpet player of the band, was dressed in what appeared to be a navy blue sailor suit. He randomly, between two songs, pretended to use his trumpet as a bong. He then imitated being high as he stumbled around stage in a stupor.
Christianson is an excellent trumpet player with a lot of energy and charisma. To transition between a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and “Where Have You Been?” Christianson placed the microphone next to the end of his horn and blew into it making a very loud and powerful sound.
The drumming performed by Ryland Steen was fast, loud and ear pounding. He didn’t talk to the audience as much as everyone else, but when he did it was strange.
Steen walked over to the microphone holding a blown up purple rubber glove with a face drawn on it. He then proceeded to have the puppet talk. You couldn’t understand what the puppet was saying because it was just some inaudible squeaking sound.
“That’s why we don’t let rabbit talk,” said Barrett.
During the song, “Kiss Me Deadly”, Barrett stopped the show to tell Steen that his drumming needed to be a little more punk.
“It was stupid, we have to do it again.make the drums heavier,” said Barrett.
This was Steen’s moment to shine and truly speak. The drums got insanely heavier, faster and consisted of a lot of symbol smashing.
Bass player, Matt Wong, was unable to perform at Castlefest because his wife was in the hospital having a baby, said a Reel Big Fish crewmember.
Replacement, Gary Gibbs, put on great show; no one seemed to notice he was just a back up bass player.
After playing “Nothin'” Barrett complimented Gibbs for just learning the song on the spot.
Near the end of the performance the band cleverly advertised their new live album and DVD combo.
“Tom do we have copies of our live album? Flash your flashlight once for no, two times for yes,” said Barrett. Tom flashed his flashlight twice then Klopfenstein chimed in.
“Tom does herpes ever go away?” said Klopfenstein. Tom turned on the flashlight and left it on. “I’m going to need some sandpaper,” replied Klopfenstein.
Afterward, they played “S.R” (Suburban Rhythm) and when the song concluded they exited the stage.
The audience still wild full of energy demanded in an uproar for an encore. They chanted Reel Big Fish, Reel Big Fish and loudly stomped their feet on the floor.
Eventually, Reel Big Fish got back on stage to play a three-song encore ending with they biggest hit “Sell Out.”
“I actually knew some of their songs,” Sivret said excitedly.
Castlefest also featured bands Schutefurmunde, Duane Carleton and the Backwoods Messiahs and Revision who all went on earlier in the afternoon.
Schutefurmunde consists of some very talented musicians out of Rutland. The band consists of guitarists Jeff Poremski and Casey Grant, drummer Steve Drebber and a bass player whose name I didn’t catch. They play a mix of rock, funk, heavy metal and improvisation. They ended their set by playing a cover of Deuce by Kiss.
“I wish they played more songs like the last one,” said Castleton technical director Chad Voghell.
Duane Carleton and the Backwoods Messiahs can be classified as rock with elements of country. Many of the band’s songs are about living in Rutland. “My Home Town” describes two places I recommend you never go Forest Park and the Gut.
Revision is basically a jazz band but they also have elements of funk and indie rock. They are really groovy and I was actually able to just lose myself in the music and dance. The band as a whole has a real cool and chic vibe.
“The guitar player is nasty, I love it,” said junior Sean Morin.