This past Friday night, the Canal Club played host to Reel Big Fish and Boogie Hawg, who put on one of the 101 concerts being set up by local radio station Y101. The event was not free, which is probably one of the reasons for the small crowd. The bands were certainly ready to get on with the show and rock out in Richmond.
Boogie Hawg started the night off with a fresh, funky set and had the crowd jamming the whole time. RBF took the stage soon after and rocked the house with a random selection of songs from their set list that kept all the ska kids dancing. Included in their set was a cover of “Take on Me” by A-Ha and their radio hit “Sell Out.”
Of course, everyone’s heard of Reel Big Fish with their fresh ska and catchy lyrics and riffs, but I think the best band of the show had to be their opening act Boogie Hawg. These guys originated from the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area, but they have played all over the East Coast.
They are all about the funk as I soon found out.
Commonwealth Times: What brings you to Richmond?
Well we’re out to promote our most recent album called “Rise Above” and we’re trying to play more in the Virginia and North Carolina areas.
CT: What would you say the most difficult thing about touring is?
Well, it does get kind of hard to find a nice place to get comfortable in since you’re on the go a lot, but it gets really hard to get things done while on the road. Then there are the times that bookings fall through and you show up at a place that you thought you were going to play at and the owner is like, ‘Who are you?’
CT: How about festivals? Play any of those? I know that when I first heard your name I thought, “jam band” but apparently not.
(laughs) No, we’re not a jam band, but we love playing funk-anything in the footsteps of Parliament, Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind & Fire and George Clinton. We played at a chili cook off up in D.C. last summer and that was awesome. There were so many people there and we were actually mistaken for another band by some crazed fans looking for autographs.
CT: Have you ever run into any problems while on tour?
Um, not really. We don’t have crazed fans that stalk us or anything like that. One time we had some kids trying to start some trouble before a show down in Blacksburg and the cops had to come and break it up. It was all crazy because we were all dressed up and at the time the drummer we had (who is now departed from the band) was holding a rubber chicken and the cops were all “Put down the chicken!” That was a crazy night.
CT: Have the attitudes of your family and/or peers changed at all since you’re started touring?
Not really. Our families are pretty spread out and they don’t get to see us as much. But I guess I could say that I don’t get ragged on as much about what I do for a living now that we’re having more success
CT: Well, what would you do if you had to stop playing? Like a fall back job?
(laughs) I think that job would fall around fast food, like Burger King.
CT: So what can we be expecting from Boogie Hawg in the next couple of months?
Well after a little more touring, we’re going to try to focus on writing and we’re trying to get another album out in September.