Badfish A Tribute to Sublime Winter Tour – REVIEW

Badfish came to the House of Blues in Chicago during their Tribute to Sublime Winter tour. With them came supporting acts Scotty Don’t, Full Service, and Midwest Hype. You can check out our review after the break!

Badfish A Tribute to Sublime Winter Tour – REVIEW

Badfish came to the House of Blues in Chicago during their Tribute to Sublime Winter tour. With them came supporting acts Scotty Don’t, Full Service, and Midwest Hype. You can check out our review after the break!

The winter Badfish tour rolled into the House of Blues Chicago on February 4, filling the venue with Sublime and reggae fans over 17 years of age.  Because of the age limit on this particular show it seemed the crowd was mostly comprised of older fans that either drove to the city or had somewhere local to stay for the night afterwards.  Also because of the 17+ age restriction the show was a bit later than usual, with the doors opening at 7pm and the show starting at 8pm.  The three opening acts were each allotted 40 minutes for their set, leaving Badfish a whole 90 minutes to rock the stage.  The House of Blues slowly filled up and the multiple bar locations were quickly patronized.  Venue security tensely watched the crowd very closely, reggae shows can get a little wild.

Chicago-based Midwest Hype describes themselves as “urban garage jazz,” but I’d definitely describe their vibe as a “reggae jam band with some hip-hop and jazz influence.”  I had heard very little of these guys before attending the show, and all I really knew was that they were from the area.  This energetic seven-member masterpiece of a band blew me away completely, and I think the rest of the crowd was surprised as well.  Midwest Hype had the crowd moving in no time and everybody was feeling their hybrid style of music that made for an incredible opening to the show.

Full Service has what I call an indeterminable style because it’s music I know I like and appreciate, but I’m not quite sure what to call it.  I’ve seen these four guys perform about three times now, each time while on tour with Badfish.  The two crowd favorites, and what I’m sure are the most recognizable to anybody who has heard of these guys before were “Rocketships” and “Trumpets.”  Trumpets is a song that involves quite a bit of crowd involvement, especially this time because little plastic kazoos were passed out and used by the crowd to help play the song.  These Austin natives definitely fit in with the rest of the tour with their shaggy appearances and hybrid music styles, and I overall think they pleased the crowd and sufficiently completed their job as an opening act.

Scotty Don’t is the second identity for the members of Badfish, as they are the exact same people.  Scotty Don’t is the name of the group when they are playing their own original material, and then they go off stage and later reappear as Badfish – A Tribute to Sublime.  Each time I’ve been to a  Badfish show I’ve had the pleasure of hearing the original material of Scotty Don’t as well which is more rock than reggae, but still great.  The crowd knew these songs as they were performed and they sang right along with the band.  “Karate,” “Crazy,” “Everything’s Alright,” and “And With It Rain” which had a bit of Bob Marley’s “One Love” intertwined in it were some selections from the evening.  Scotty Don’t also made a fantastic decision to play a cover of the NOFX song “Bob,” which I personally think they nailed perfectly.

Badfish usually rolls into Chicago about once a year and because I missed their last show I made it a priority to make it out to this one.  Badfish is a four piece band comprised of former computer science majors who turned into reggae-rockers when they figured out that they could sell out crowds and rock shows almost as well as the original Sublime could.  Badfish is a must-see for lovers of Sublime, and the opening acts that usually accompany Badfish on tour are always great musicians as well.  I’ve seen live the reincarnation of the actual Sublime before, featuring a new singer named Rome, and I have to say that Badfish is so much better.  These guys killed every Sublime selection they chose to play, and it was obvious that the crowd was completely feeling it too.  Badfish opened with “Greatest Hits,” an incredible first choice, and it only got better from there.  “Santeria,” “54-46 That’s My Number,” “Ball and Chain,” “D.J.s,” STP,” “40oz To Freedom,” “Seed,” “Caress Me Down,” “Jailhouse,” “Get Ready,” and a whole lot more comprised their 90 minute set.  A few favorites of mine including a dub version of “Pawnshop” that featured some Full Service members, “Rivers of Babylon,” Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” and “Same in the End” made the night all the more memorable for me.  The guys left the stage to thunderous applause only to return for four encore songs that included, “Waiting for my Ruca,” “Garden Grove,” “Badfish,” and “What I got.”

This concert consisted of a sweaty crowd that indulged in quite a bit of drinking and marijuana smoking, making the atmosphere all the more exciting and the event all the more interesting and enjoyable.  I had a great experience with all these bands at the House of Blues and I now have some more music to discover from Full Service and Midwest Hype, all while I keep rocking out to Scotty Don’t and Badfish’s take on Sublime.

Information about the review…
Tour: Badfish A Tribute to Sublime Winter Tour
Bands: Badfish, Scotty Don’t, Full Service, and Midwest Hype
Reviewer: Mike Nutting
Date: February 4, 2012
Venue: House of Blues in Chicago, IL