Sublime fans know: Everything changed in 1996. That was the year the band’s frontman Bradley Nowell died. Since séances all over the states haven’t succeeded in bringing Nowell back, fans have to settle for the next best thing.
For that, fans have two options: Sublime with Rome or Badfish: A Sublime Tribute. Sublime with Rome is basically just Sublime with a new lead singer. Rome is good, too. He sounds a lot like Nowell, making it eerily enjoyable.
Badfish sounds a lot like the real thing, too; they’re just lacking the creepy voice-clone guy at the mic. Badfish’s added bonus: Their tickets are about half the price.
Sublime’s music was fun Ska Punk, but what set them apart was Nowell’s voice and mostly irreverent lyrics. The band’s songs, from “40 Ounces to Freedom” to “What I Got,” told stories of middle and lower-class life in Los Angeles. Upon closer look, you can even hear foreshadowing of Nowell’s overdose.
Those lyrics won’t change just because the singer is different or the backing band is new. When you’re only going to a concert to see a reasonable facsimile, does it really matter than the band members may have once performed with Bradley Nowell? Probably not.
BADFISH plays Thursday, March 15 at Bogart's with guests The Cliftones. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.