Snapshots: Reel Big Fish @ Rams Head Live — 11/25/18

Reel Big FishReel Big Fish performs at Rams Head Live on Nov. 25, 2018. (Photo by Jules McNamara)

California ska band Reel Big Fish are not one to leave a pun unexplored, as their name suggests! And so they dropped by Rams Head Live on Sunday for a show on their The Tickle My Tiki TOURch. Jules McNamara was there to capture the action!

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Music Park: ShamrockFest 2018 @ RFK Stadium — 3/17/18

ShamrockFest2018 11 Deryck Whibley fronts Sum 41 in a headlining performance at ShamrockFest 2018 at RFK Stadium on March 17, 2018. (Photo by Daniel Webb)

Sum 41, who hardly ever play around DC, headlined ShamrockFest 2018 on Saturday, giving me an opportunity relive childhood memories in a wonderful opportunity to see the band play live at the Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium.

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Don’t Miss: ShamrockFest 2018 @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, 3/17/18

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ShamrockFest 2017 at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds (Photo by Danilo Lewis for ShamrockFest)

ShamrockFest, hailed as “America’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Festival, returns to RFK Stadium Festival Grounds on Saturday, March 17, with concert headliners Sum 41, Shaggy, and Less than Jake, along with performances from Reel Big Fish, Carbon Leaf, Street Dogs, Scythian, Barleyjuice, Kilmaine Saints, and more.

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Music Park: ShamrockFest @ RFK Stadium Festival Grounds — 3/21/15

gaelic-stormGaelic Storm

It is clear, after attending the 2015 edition of ShamrockFest, that I need to get myself to Galway, Ireland.

Because the girls.

Scythian, DC’s native purveyor of Irish tunes, crooned ‘and I lost my heart to a Galway girl’, in a lively cover of Steve Earle’s “Galway Girl”. Then later, Gaelic Storm performed their brand new “Girls Night in Galway”, an ode to the multitude of bachelorette parties that festoon the city.

ShamrockFest is an exercise in excess. An excessive amount of Irish and Celtic music. An excessive number of people dressed in elaborate green costumes. An excessive desire to visit Galway (for me, at least).

Strolling around the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds, there is no question that DC loves St. Patrick’s Day. Taking a cue from Carbon Leaf’s dance ready “The Donnybroke Affair”, you might describe ShamrockFest as ‘a rough-n-tumble free-for-all’ and ‘a ruckus to be reckoned with’.

Festival goers were ready for a day of music and beer. I would guess a large percentage of the sold-out crowd partook in the VIP package, which included access to an expansive VIP area and bottomless beer within.

The VIP area spread between the Gold stage and the Green stage. Aside from the dedicated beer stalls and a small DJ booth, it also provided cordoned off and up-close access to both stages. The lines for beer were so long that Red Frog Events eventually opened up VIP member’s access to all festival beer stands. Which then made all the lines long. We want our beer.

The sprawling Festival Grounds is not attractive (after all, it is a parking lot), but the three stages and the electronic tent were spaced apart so that you never felt overwhelmed by crowd movements and spontaneous dancing.

The beer selection was small, but with three choices and a cider (Guinness, Guinness Blond, Yuengling and Angry Orchard Cider), it was both appropriate and better than many festivals. The food offered was nothing beyond typical festival fare to further the St. Patrick’s Day theme. But Bailey’s Irish Coffee was on offer. Yes and thank you.

Other activities included Bear Pong (an outsized version of the classic beer pong) and Cornhole hosted by NAKID Social Sports. There were also stalls selling green things, kilts and alcohol infused cigars. Nice. There could have been more to do, if you wanted a break from the music.

The music options were an eclectic mix of Irish standards, electronic dance, covers, folk, fiddles, Celtic songs and a pinch of blues (Traveler) thrown in for good measure.

I was able to listen to a good number of bands on the Gold, Green and Dewey Beach stages, and did also poke my head into the DJ tent (Electric Isle).

The main complaint for the Electric Isle tent was there was a sizable pool of water in the middle, towards the back, courtesy of the rain from the previous day. People danced around it.

Here is my music lineup and brief notes on each.

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