Tuesday 9th March 2004 – Reel Big Fish w/ Goldfinger, Zebrahead and The Matches at Southampton Guildhall

This was an absolutely massive bill at the time. I’m probably exaggerating but I’m pretty sure all of my friends went to this. It was my first time seeing Zebrahead, and the only time seeing them with original vocalist Justin Mauriello, who left the band in 2004. It was also my introduction to The Matches. I remember seeing frontman Shawn Harris selling copies of their debut album, without jewel cases, in the foyer.

Then there was Goldfinger, first time seeing them too. That was a big deal and everyone I knew was excited about this. Toward the end of their set they invited the audience up on stage, as they often do. There was an inevitable crush of people pushing forward to make it over or past the barrier.

In all the mayhem my friend Phil got hit on the head by a security guard, so hard that it cut him above his eyebrow. On the side of the stage someone spotted what had happened, jumped down and dragged me and Phil through a door and into a stairwell. That person was none other than Reel Big Fish’s Dan Regan.

Dan, or someone else back there managed to get first aid help for Phil and we were back out in the crowd in time for the headline set. Back in these days Dan Regan dressed up as a bumble bee on stage. IN my memory of this event, he was in this outfit when he came to Phil’s rescue. Unfortunately I neither have evidence of this, or anything to prove otherwise, so let’s just say he was yeah?

I already had a Reel Big Fish t-shirt so my merchandise budget went to Goldfinger on this occasion, and what an odd purchase it was. Three grey skulls on a black long sleeve t-shirt with Goldfinger in a gothic font on the arms. Not really my style at all and I probably only wore it a handful of times. 

Thinking of this gig also reminded me how big a thing it used to be to see absolute chancers selling bootleg t-shirts outside the gig. Some bands used to encourage people to steal these and on this night a friend of my obliged. He successfully stole about 10 of the same extra small RBF t-shirts that didn’t fit any of us.

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