With shows like Dave Matthews Band
, Jon Bon Jovi
, and Respectable Street Cafe's 25th anniversary party
, it's been a helluva summer for South Florida's live music fans. The longest, sweatiest days of the year wrapped up sonically this past Friday with a nearly sold out Sublime with Rome show at Sunset Cove Amphitheater. The act that includes members of ska punk act Sublime and Rome Ramirez was supported by Cypress Hill, Pepper, and the Dirty Heads.
Southern California's reggae punk act the Dirty Heads carry on the torch that the original Sublime helped create. They took the stage with a 40-minute set in front of a still gathering crowd. The highlight of their show was when Rome came on the stage for the performance of The Dirty Heads' biggest hit, "Lay Me Down." The audience was enchanted and most stayed crowded at the edge of the stage waiting for Pepper.
"It was nice that even the opening bands played long 45-minute sets," said concertgoer Stacy Brown, who attended last year's Sublime with Rome that featured just the Dirty Heads.
Those with less discerning ears and a short memory hearing Pepper for the first time assume they're listening to Sublime. To be fair, the Hawaii natives have perfected the Sublime sound. Pepper has had the benefit of never losing either of their two lead singers. They create a ton of energy on stage and in the crowd. It peaked during their performance of "Stormtrooper," with fans reciting the Kona Town hit word for word.
By the time Cypress Hill came on at 8 sharp, the crowd was in a stupor. They didn't know many of Cypress Hill's songs, but that didn't stop them from cheering, screaming, and -- more importantly -- lighting up spliffs, joints, and blunts. While many musicians do one, maybe two, songs dedicated to marijuana during their set, Cypress Hill did about five. The ode to green was secured when they brought out a ridiculous seven-foot tall bong. Just getting the smoke to rise to the mouthpiece would require about a pound of Cali bud and an iron lung. Demonstrations were reserved for backstage.
Sublime with Rome opened with a smoker classic "Smoke Two Joints" from 40 Oz To Freedom. Sublime fans once thought that the untimely death of lead singer Bradley Nowell meant they would never get to hear songs like "Under My Voodoo" and "Date Rape" live again, but they were very wrong. Superfan Rick Iglesias, who saw both the original Sublime and spin off Long Beach Dub All Stars perform noted of Rome Ramirez, "He does a great job, sounds a lot like (Nowell)."
Rome manages to imitate the late Nowell well, but still maintains his own style and identity within the group. His voice cracked trying to reach the height Nowell captured during "Under My Voodoo," which was the point about when the mosh pit peaked. The biggest reaction from the crowd and perhaps the most fitting song was the Sublime album-ending classic "Doin' Time," an ode to summertime. The band played a number of songs from their only album Yours Truly, but most came to hear the catalogue of original Sublime songs. Rome was a Sublime fan before ever playing with remaining band members and confessed his favorite Sublime song was "Slow Ride" just before performing it without missing a single lyric.
Many didn't expect an hour and a half long set. The crowd's attention waned towards the end, enough so that by the time the band came back on for a three-song encore, almost half the crowd had left. They performed Sublime's two biggest hits "What I Got" and "Santeria," to close out a long day of summer-ending live jams.
Personal bias: Always dreamed of hearing Sublime perform live.
Overheard in the crowd: "Pass that blunt."
Random thought: Sunset Cove could definitely work on their food selection.