The Aquabats holiday show has become an annual tradition for their legions of fans over the course of their lengthy career, and with good reason-their holiday show could easily be the best performance they put on all year. Perhaps it’s the holiday season in the air or maybe it’s the end of the year looming close that gets everyone in the band to give a little bit more. Whatever the reason it has become a staple for me as I’ve gone every year since 2004, save for one, and each time I am reminded of why it has become my yearly tradition. The show just can’t be topped!
For this year’s line up the Bats were reunited with their direct support from last year’s celebration, Kepi Ghoulie, as well as newcomers to the Aquabats family, Emily’s Army. Unfortunately my photographer Jackie and I made it late to the show and missed Emily’s Army. However we were able to make it in time just as Kepi Ghoulie was about to take the stage. No stranger to Kepi’s antics we eagerly anticipated his set. Then once the curtain cleared he announced that his band needed a bass player for their set only to be joined by none other than Eagle Bones Falconhawk of The Aquabats. Once he joined the motley crew of musicians they kicked things into overdrive playing various songs from both Kepi’s solo releases as well as some Groovie Ghoulies classics. Throughout the set Kepi tossed out plenty of balloons and streamers to make sure the evening was truly a party. Towards the latter half of the set Kepi threw a gift into the crowd for one lucky audience member to enjoy. Before ending his set he made sure to give two of his bandmates time to shine by playing one of their own songs from their respective band, Dog Party.
As Kepi wrapped up his set there was a rather quick set change before The Aquabats prepared for their set. Before taking the stage to rock out the band showed an intro video to the night’s show that set the mood for the evening. The video in question had the band traveling to the show via their battletram while having a discussion about Christmas. As the clip ended it transitioned into a countdown and the The Aquabats finally brought the rock to the stage. The band played chockful of classic songs as well as some newer jams while peppering the set with their classic banter between every few songs. In typical Aquabats fashion they had a few interruptions from some villains but were able to make short work of them and save the day before playing some more hits. In fact through these scuffles we learned that if you make fun of people they die. It’s a science fact that was tested on stage as they used this tactic to defeat a cruel crustacean. However, the highlight of the set may have been when the band asked for some snacks from the audience and found their fans more than willing to help out.
In fact several granola bars made their way on stage as well some pepperidge farm cookies and even a clif bar. Said clif bar would go on to be licked several times by the Bat Commander before being tossed back into the crowd and be eaten by one hungry fan. After the first part of their set came to a close The Aquabats left the stage and a second video came on. This clip featured a musical number from Ricky Fitness before the band made it back to the stage to play an encore. During their return to the stage the band had switched costumes, trading in their standard blue rashguards for red.
Ricky & the Bat Commander traded places for a performance of a song whose name that I don’t know. After that little ditty was done the two switched back before attempting to play a Hannukah song, playing a song from their upcoming Christmas special on The Hub, and finally closing out the night with Pool Party. As the show ended it was nice to know even a decade later The Aquabats holiday show is still just as magical as ever. More importantly it was exciting to know that The Aquabats Super Show would be making it’s return on the 21st of this month with a Christmas special.
Speaking of their Christmas special, yours truly recently interviewed the Bat Commander about the upcoming episode so be on the look out for that in the very near future. Also, for anyone who is curious, here is the set list below.