posted on August 17, 2012 16:53
Just like old times.
That is the first sentence that I could sum up with to describe Sublime with Rome's show this week at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. The band brought their signature blend of reggae, rock and punk to St. Louis for a long anticipated show as part of a package tour with Matisyahu, Pepper and The Dirty Heads. A solid crowd packed the venue for their first dose of Sublime in St. Louis in many years. The 3 piece outfit just began touring again with newly minted front man Rome Ramirez who stepped in to fill the shows of the late Brad Nowell who passed away in 1996.
As the house lights went black, the band took to the stage promptly at 9:30 and ripped through a setlist containing plenty of Sublime favorites and a few new tracks that the band has been developing with their new front man. From the opening riffs of "Smoke Two Joints", the crowd was most surely ready to embrace the songs and the band they remember from so many years ago. I think the crowd may have taken the song title very literally as when the band took the stage, the aromas of the venue changed from beer and funnel cakes to that of a sticky green substance. Just as you would expect from such a show. With each passing song, the familiar favorites kept coming. Great versions of Sublime classics like "April 29, 1992", "STP" and an electric cover of the Grateful Dead track "Scarlet Bagonias" were early set highlights.
As the set went on, the band did their best to provide a great mix of Sublime new and old. With bassist Eric Wilson being the only original member on stage, it seemed the band stepped right back into the groove that made them great. New lead singer Rome did a great job filling the shoes of Brad Nowell and keept the party atmosphere going throughout the show. One thing that was noticeable was a bit of a lull during the new Sublime tracks as they were played. It seemed the crowd was there for the Sublime favorites they have come to love over the years. The new material was a little flat and the crowd reacted as such but there was much more that worked than did not.
The party atmosphere really picked up as the 20 song set moved on to the later stages. Huge Sublime classics like "Date Rape" and "Slow Ride" sounded spot on and the crowd was worked into a perfect dance groove with Rome leading the party. A huge sing along to the infectious groove of "Badfish" closed out the main set and the band left the stage to thunderous cheers. They returned a short time later after a little bit of playful onstage banter including a singalong of Happy Birthday to a crew member to play their biggest hits of the night. Stellar versions of the classic tune "What I Got" featured a HUGE crowd singalong that had the entire venue moving, it was probably the biggest song of the night. The Sublime smash "Santeria" closed the set in perfect style and the band wished their fans a good night and left the stage to huge cheers.
All in all a fun night of rock and familiar favorites from one of the most memorable bands of our generation. If you are a Sublime fan, or even if you aren't, you will definitely want to check out Sublime with Rome. Just as good as you remember, even if it is a little bit different.
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