We recently had the chance to go to the Chicago date of Badfish’s spring tour at the House of Blues. You can check out our thoughts about the show, after the break.
Badfish is, in my opinion, the best Sublime cover band in existence. These guys execute the beautiful music that was once created by the famous Sublime, and they put all their heart and soul into it. This spring tour stop at Chicago’s House of Blues brought me a lot of joy in knowing that I would once again be able to sing along to some of the greatest reggae/rock music in the world. The first group to warm up the show is a rap/reggae/rock group based out of Columbus, OH, and from what I caught from their set, I can tell that these guys will be going places. I arrived at the gig pretty late, but just in time to hear this 6-piece group rock out the lyrics, “If it’s going to be that kind of party, I’m going to stick my dick in the mashed potatoes.” This was a hilarious first experience for me with this group, and after hearing the rest of their set, I severely regret being late. These guys take a little bit of surf culture/new-age reggae, they add some fantastic rap vocals, and they jam their hearts out. This is a group that I’d love be able to catch again in the big city of Chicago.
Makeshift was the second group to take the stage, and they were also an act that I didn’t have any experience with. Hailing from our great city of Chicago, I couldn’t help but notice that this six-man band all looked incredibly young. I even heard a few comments from other patrons back by the bar about how young the guys on staged looked. This was an interesting observation, but it didn’t make a difference because Makeshift did the reggae genre proud with their skanky rhythms and solid vocals. Being that I’d never heard these guys, the only song I recognized was “Little Black Submarines” by The Black Keys, and it was a cover that was nicely executed. After learning that Makeshift is from Chicago, I hope I’ll get the chance to see them again real soon.
Badfish is one of these groups that I will never get tired of seeing and singing along to. I’ve heard these guys play original material before, and it’s really incredibly good, but when they do their entire set filled with the best reggae/rock songs from the late Sublime, my mind gets blown. Opening with “Garden Grove,” I immediately recognized the scratchy emotion that filled singer Pat Downes voice. I’ve said many times that I think this man’s voice comes as close to sounding like the original Sublime singer Bradley Nowell’s voice, and I stand behind that bold statement. “Waiting For My Rucca,” “40oz. To Freedom,” and “Doin’ Time” were some Sublime’s greatest hit tunes that Badfish executed perfectly as usual. Because Sublime continues to be such a popular band among many different types of people, the House of Blues was filled with only folks who knew the words to every song, and a beautiful chorus of voices ensued. My absolute favorite tune of the night, which is always my choice, was the dubbed out version of “Pawn Shop,” which includes plenty of emotional singing, and plenty of heavy bass work. Badfish once again did an incredible job at keeping the memory of the original Sublime alive, and I hope they continue to do so for years to come.
Information about the review…
Tour: Badfish’s Spring Tour
Acts: Badfish, Makeshift, Shrub
Reviewer: Michael Nutting
Date: March 30, 2013
Venue: House of Blues in Chicago, IL