Occasionally really cool opportunities come to a town near you. Having the opportunity to see Scott Klopfenstein, a longtime member of Reel Big Fish and his own project that followed with the Littlest Man Band, just play a living room one Saturday evening is one of those very special opportunities. While I was at Punk Rock Bowling I saw Scott and Chris Graue announce on Twitter they’d be playing a backyard in Phoenix. I was excited just with a little matter of sorting out attending the day they came to town. In the end, all things worked out to attend it in full for this cool little event with Scott Klopfenstein and Lo(u)ser.
Of course, a little back story to just what makes this special for me. First, I’ve been a very big fan of Reel Big Fish for around twenty years now, going back to watching him in the band on multiple occasions. They were one of the first ska bands that I got into with Less than Jake and The Aquabats. As cool as that already made this night, the thing that makes this more special is rooted in his weekly Twitch streams, you can find here. They became a big help mentally during quarantine times for Covid last year and beginning half of this. Scott Klopfenstein and G Scott Barrett put together an environment that brought engagement with regular song requests while perpetuating being positive to one another to those who tune in. It made for a digital place that I wanted to hang out and chat while watch Scott interacted directly with the chat, told stories and played songs from his body of work and other favorites. It added new appreciation for Scott Klopfenstein on top of the great music he has written and continues to write now.
As for the night’s events, it began with Chris Graue donning a Super Mario outfit to be Lo(u)ser, flipping on a projector, and began in the living room of our gracious hosts. Yes, a living room, and not the previously mentioned backyard, as it turned out still a little warm outside in Phoenix. Chris opened up with a cool Mario Kart melody accompanied by game footage projected above in sync.
From there went into tracks from his brand new EP, Super Gwario Kart. Most should be familiar as he put out music videos for them over the past year including “Set It All on Fire” and “Things Are Getting Worse.” Just typing that out “Set It All on Fire” returned the earworm to my head too. I first met him previously with another project at the now closed 51 West here. After that, I’ve ran into Chris with his patented camera in hand recording video for one of his many awesome band music videos he does. It was really cool to catch up in person again, watching his new project Lo(u)ser live for my first time.
Then Scott Klopfenstein took the living room in a giraffe costume keeping to our Halloween weekend theme. A splendid thing about the house playing host was they had a piano, so Scott was able to alternate from guitar and keyboard tracks just like on stream. He played well over an hour and took requests for the last couple songs. This marked the first time catching both his solo work, like “Average Man,” and previously Littlest Man Band songs, like “Sunshine” and “Happened Again,” live for myself. Those in attendance added to choruses and sang along in such delight. It was a cool environment to watch Scott play in, bolstered by those in attendance. Thank you to our hosts and to both Scott and Chris for making the trek to Phoenix for a wonderful night of music in a living room.