Goldfinger – Summer Of Ska Tour
There are very few bands I will drop everything and hop in a vehicle for, but Goldfinger are one of them. I can honestly say that they formed the person I am today. I was around them soo much when I was in my teenage years that I basically grew up with them and learned their inappropriate and sarcastic ways. Now don’t take that the wrong way, they didn’t lead me down the path of drugs and booze and all that jazz (because I don’t do that stuff), just down the road of perversion and shock factor. They also helped me through a lot of rough times in my life, including a horrible job situation where my boss was sending me into a downward spiral. John (Feldmann) took notice one night in Providence that I was a bit on the sad side and went for a little walk with me and we sat and chatted and to this day I could never be more grateful for the words that were spoken to me and I still think back to them whenever I’m doubting myself and what I can do. I also recall a time when I was having a breakdown over a guy and Charlie (Paulson) spent time on the phone with me to help calm me down and bring me back to reality and move forward. So when I say these guys mean a lot to me, I really mean it. They are my family.
That being said, when I got word that they were going to be back out on the East Coast for the first time in a few years, I knew I had to attend as many dates as possible. I ended up going to 5 in total: New Haven CT, Providence RI, New York NY, Sayreville NJ and Allentown PA. Goldfinger were kind enough to not only offer me photo access to all the shows, but they also lent me an all access pass (that you may have noticed at the top of this review). It truly is an amazing experience getting to see all the behind the scenes action that goes into a tour like this. I also got to play merch girl and help them out at a few of the shows too, which I always enjoy doing. Josh has a busy work schedule so he couldn’t attend all the shows with me but he did make it to NY and PA, which he had a blast at. It was also his first experience behind the scenes, getting to watch sound check, photograph during the show and even help do laundry. Being the amazing men that they are, the Goldfinger crew were very welcoming to a new friend (I’m sure the cookies he made for them helped too).
Overall, the shows were awesome and brought back a lot of memories. Yes, Darrin (Pfeiffer) is still doing the Twinkie bit. If he didn’t, the fans would be bummed! Their set list is made up of some great tunes like Here In Your Bedroom, Superman, Counting The Days, Open Your Eyes and Miles Away to name a few, and ending with their cover of 99 Red Balloons. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Goldfinger show without having the crowd join them on stage for Mable. Each night there would be a couple songs tossed in depending on requests and their moods so it gave people like me that attended multiple dates something new to enjoy. They did test out a few rare and older gems during sound checks but they didn’t make the final cut. Maybe next tour they’ll give them another go. For an added surprise, the NJ date was also John’s birthday so his wife got him a special present in the form of a gorgeous lady that came onstage to give him a little dance (which we may or may not have video footage of). And even though the guys may be getting older, they still have enough energy to out jump any of the younger bands that are just getting started. I don’t know how they do it to be honest — I become exhausted just from watching them. At the NY show, Charlie got a bit too excited, which lead to the demise of one of his guitars, which was later offered for sale at the merch table and purchased by a very lucky lady at the Allentown show. Another exciting moment at the NY show was when Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike) stopped by to announce the band and watch the set (check out the NY photos to see him on stage with John). Little trivia fact for you.. Joe used to roadie for the band years ago. It was really cute seeing such a big star fanboying and getting super stoked over them. And even though it may be a few years since they released a new album, the crowds proved that they are still well loved and were made up of a wide range of ages, from young kids seeing their first concert ever to old folks that grew up listening to Goldfinger.
Now, I know this is technically a Goldfinger review but I must make note of the other artists that were a part of the Summer Of Ska tour. All of the bands were very friendly and extended greetings and introductions when they saw a new face hanging around for more than a show or two. I’m very happy to say I have made some new friends and look forward to crossing paths and sharing drinks with them again in the hopefully near future. The first artist I would like to mention is a band that was added on as an acoustic opener to the tour, a lovely group called Beautiful Bodies. Their female vocalist, Alicia, has a wonderfully powerful voice. They are working with John in the studio and getting ready to release some beautiful jams to the world. These guys have a great future ahead of them so definitely be on the lookout. Another band that was semi-new to me was Big D And The Kids Table. I know I know, they’ve been around FOREVER, but I never really got into them or crossed paths with them that much. Now I’m kinda kicking myself for not getting to know them sooner. Really really rad dudes and great musicians as well. I’d have to say they were the most ska band on the lineup of this tour. Suburban Legends aren’t far behind them though. I was lucky enough to meet these guys the last time Goldfinger were out here with Less Than Jake. These guys.. what can I say about them to properly explain how fucking phenomenal they are? The energy they spew at you before, during and after their shows.. wow, just wow. Never a dull moment with these kids. It is impossible not to have fun during their show. Another band you have to wiggle along to would be the tour’s headliner, Reel Big Fish. Fan or not, you will find yourself bopping along with them. Reel Big Fish were actually one of the first bands I ever interviewed in person when I was younger and they’re still just as silly and awesome as ever. And come on, how can you not enjoy hearing SR played multiple times in different styles? Definitely one of the highlights of their show for me.
I was super sad to be leaving the tour after only 5 shows but I know all the bands will be back around soon and will be welcoming me back with hugs and high fives.