Badfish Delivers Precisely What the Fans Come For: The Spirit of Sublime

The moment you first come across a Sublime album in your youth is kind of a big one. A rite of passage. It's either gonna be 40 oz. to Freedom or self-titled, but it's gonna set you on a good path in life when you find it. With any luck, you'll still enjoy the band after hearing their songs literally millions of times growing up. 

The guys in Badfish certainly do. They culled together a career performing the music of Sublime — on-point and faithful to the source material, always — and spreading the good word on the road.

Touring regularly, Badish has become something of a ritual for me and those close to me. The setlists vary, sure, but, by and large, you're getting the same heavy dose of Sublime classics: "Waiting for my Ruca," "Garden Grove," "Pawn Shop," "Caress Me Down," etc. etc. It's great, and the crowd is always 100-percent enthusiastic. 

Here's another ritual I enjoy: Each Badfish show begins with Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" pumped in over the speakers. Without missing a beat, everyone in the room goes all in — belting the lyrics, head-banging, with smiles lighting across faces. Then the curtain rises, and we begin.

From the opening "Date Rape" to the encore-closing "What I Got," last night's gig at the House of Blues delivered on all fronts. (At some point, the band teased Red Hot Chili Peppers' "All Around the World," though for the life of me I can't recall which song took that honor.) 

Bradley Nowell was quoted as saying, "Good music is good music, and that should be good enough for anybody." Fair enough.
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About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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