Friday, April 6, 2018

Badfish – A Tribute To Sublime Sizzles In Sebastian, Florida

March 25, 2018

Capt. Hiram's
Sebastian, Florida

by Michelle Wilson of Rock Legends Photographers

There are few if any tribute bands out there that rival the cult-like following of Badfish – A Tribute to Sublime. Packed in like sardines at Captain Hiram's “Grand Sand Bandstand” on the Indian River in Sebastian, Florida, the 1,100 diehards of all shapes, sizes and ages were the living proof. Fun dreadlocks, flowing alcohol and funky-scented air were the vibe of the night, with a heavy police presence to ensure safety. The weather was cooperative, the spirits were abundant and the music was spectacular. It was an ideal night to pay homage to the 90s SoCal Punk-Rock-Ska trio, Sublime.

In their short but storied history, Sublime released three albums, the third one achieving enormous commercial success and garnering fans worldwide. But just prior to its release, 28-year-old co-founding member and frontman, Brad Nowell, would die of a heroin overdose while on tour, never to revel in the record's success. Co-founding members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh chose not to continue as “Sublime” without their founding frontman, and that was the end of the band.  

Fast-forward to University of Rhode Island, 2001.What began as a bar band whose members simply enjoyed performing some of their favorite music for college audiences morphed into a full-time touring career for musicians who could nail the sound and style of Sublime while making it their own. The current lineup includes bassist Joel Hanks, drummer Scott Begin, keyboardist/guitarist Dorian Duffy, trombonist Quinn Carson and frontman/guitarist Pat Downes. For the thousands who never got a chance to see Sublime, Badfish is as close as it gets.

The show kicked off perfectly with the first of two openers featuring local Central Florida favs, The Day After. Renowned for their unique spin on cover songs that run the genre gamut, the dynamic fusion of brothers Joe (lead vocals/guitar) and Carlos (vocals/bass) Barrera as well as monster drummer Sam Hill packed a mighty punch for a three-piece combo. Notable covers included the Blink 182 version of “Leaving On A Jet Plane” (John Denver) and the 4 Non Blondes smash hit, “What's Up?” (Linda Perry), both bent and shaped into The Day After's own distinctive style.

Annapolis, Maryland-based Bumpin Uglies, who describe their music as “lyrically-driven ska/punk/reggae” with “groove-heavy jams,” is comprised of Brandon Hardesty (vocals/guitar), Dave Wolf (vocals/bass), TJ Haslett (drums) and Chad Wright (vocals/keys/guitar), and they could not have been a more apropos choice to warm up the crowd preceding the evening's headliner, Badfish.

Close to 9:30pm, Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody” blared from the speakers and triggered an impromptu crowd sing-along. Amid thunderous applause and cheering, Badfish blasted onto the stage and banged out a smorgasbord of Sublime songs including “Wrong Way,” “Pawn Shop,” “Bad Religion,” The Grateful Dead's “Scarlet Begonias,” (Jerry Garcia), “Caress Me Down,” “Date Rape,” “Santeria,” “Doin' Time” and “What I Got,” as well as many others. Multiple women from the crowd joined the band onstage, singing, dancing and having a ball. It was the ultimate night with the ultimate party tribute band.  

Check out the full galleries of photos from Rock Legends Photographers at the links:

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