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Gallery: Bowling for Soup and Reel Big Fish party on a Tuesday in Tempe

It’s been 25 years of Bowling for Soup and these rockers aren’t ready to stop yet. Joined by ska staples Reel Big Fish for a co-headlining summer tour, the bands filled Tempe’s Marquee Theater to the brim- not bad for a weekday night.

Reel Big Fish took the direct support slot for the Arizona stop and got the people going. Fans dressed in checkered button-downs, fedoras and skate shoes danced and jumped to their heart’s content. RBF is known for their sunny ska sound and the brass section lit up the room for nearly an hour of good fun. Naturally, the band played their biggest hit(s) from the 90’s- launching into a medley of songs that included Semisonic’s “Closing Time” and Smash Mouth’s “All Star” before, of course, ending with “Sell Out” and the band’s stellar cover of “Take On Me”.

It’s almost hard to imagine a time without Bowling for Soup (and they’ll never let us forget). With 25 years of music and touring under their belts, the band played a lengthy set that felt as easy as breathing. Every song was a classic- from “The Bitch Song” to “Punk Rock 101”. They’ve become almost a caricature of themselves, cracking jokes about getting older (and wider), and heckling multiple thrilled members of the audience.

While most of their songs are genuinely silly, the band is also genuinely still stoked to be onstage. Their excitement and humor bled into the audience, who sang every word to the songs of their youth. Like Reel Big Fish, Bowling for Soup also played their biggest hit- “Stacy’s Mom”. Often confused with Fountains of Wayne in their early days, the band has embraced the mixup and continues to make their fans laugh with this cover. They closed with “1985”, ending a night of (not entirely wholesome) entertainment for everyone.

Check out our photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel