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One Pin Short brings down the House … of Blues

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One Pin Short’s tenor saxophonist, Charley Fine (on the left), with some friends and his sister (far right).
Photo: Allison Duck

This is what I overheard while waiting in line at will call last night at the House of Blues:

“Man, who’s playing tonight?”

“I don’t know. Um… uh, Reel Big Fish I think. And somebody else. Whatever, I’m here for One Pin Short anyway.”

It’s refreshing to hear young Vegas music fans express their loyalty to our local musicians. Streetlight Manifesto was the forgotten band on that fan’s list and though they put on a great set, much of the attention was deservedly on the opener – local ska/reggae band One Pin Short.

Reel Big Fish @ House of Blues

On tour for the past week with Reel Big Fish, the House of Blues stopover brought OPS home for a chance to see family and friends. Drummer Jordan Rosenthal’s father, David Rosenthal, revealed that both Jordan’s grandfather and great grandfather had been prominent musicians in their time. David tells his children, “If in ten years you don’t make it big, then it’s not a failure, you gave it all you had.” It’s this kind of family support that has given the band a solid foundation and the ability to go out on tours as often as possible.

For lead singer Sean Garnett, a native of Hawaii, in some ways the road is home. “My family is my band and my co-workers,” he says. Garnett used to work at the House of Blues on the security team. Many of his co-workers were able to come in and see a bit of the show last night while at work.

After moving to Vegas, he scoured the Internet for info on the Vegas music scene and saw One Pin Short was looking for a lead singer. He auditioned with the song “Badfish” by Sublime, and easily landed the part. Garnett says, “They were in the middle of their ska/punk phase, and I brought in my island/reggae vibe.”

He explains the band’s layered sound with this analogy: “I bring the hamburger – the naked piece of meat – then I give it to Anthony (guitarist) and he ads the cheese, then Jordan (drummer) adds the lettuce, and we pass it on down the line, so everyone can add something. And if you want fries with it, we can do that too.”

Backstage after OPS’s set, I asked Garnett about his favorite venues from the tour so far. Like Rosenthal, he was in awe of the Fillmore in San Francisco. “There were posters on the wall of Hendrix, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane – all the groups I used to listen to. It was just so historical. I got goose bumps when I walked in.”

He also expressed his gratitude to Reel Big Fish for the opportunity to join them on tour. “I told Aaron [lead singer of Reel Big Fish] that you’ve been doing it for 15 years, and you’re still making fans go nuts and keeping the vibe alive. Hopefully OPS keeps it alive too.”

Garnett is also excited to tour with his band, because it allows him to see different parts of the country. “Ten years down the road, I’ll still be star-struck by every venue we play.”

If you missed last night’s show, you can catch OPS again when they return to Vegas for shows at the Bunkhouse Saloon, Canvas Café, and again at the House of Blues.

Follow the band with regular updates from the road in our music blog, Off the Record.

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