Badfish w/Skaflaws, 880 South, and FUBAR

so for months flyers have been popping up around Santa Cruz, Badfish- a tribute to Sublime coming to the Catalyst. my interest was peeked by all of this promotion, but i was also a bit thrown off. i’ve never gone to see any tribute band perform before, and they did name themselves after one of the two big Sublime singles i really dislike.

however, a friend of mine told me she had heard they were really good. i checked up on the tickets – $12. can’t really turn that down now can you. so i strolled down to the Catalyst and picked up two tickets…

…and then last tuesday came around. it was finally time. i made it a point to not listen to anything by Badfish prior to the concert. i wanted to see what they could do live before i heard anything else, especially since i already knew all that words and was familiar with all that muzik. my friend and i arrived slighltly late, opting to miss out on at least one opening band since we were both already tired and it seemed like it took forever to get through the opening bands at the Circle Jerks show last month.

when we arrived we were greeted by The Skaflaws on stage, missing the first band FUBAR. i was really impressed with them. they sounded a lot like old school No Doubt and they completely embodied that energy that makes most ska shows undeniably fun, even if you aren’t into that scene. their singer Renee Gonzalez did an excellent job of engaging with the crowd and dancing on stage whenever she wasn’t singing, and let me say, that girl is damn good at dancing as well as fronting a band.

the highlight of their set was a cover of Sublime’s Saw Red that they did with a friend?/roadied?/i dunno of their’s who was on crutches and seemed to have something permanently wrong with his legs. he wasn’t the best singer, but it didn’t matter. that was one of those bad ass, live & raw moments that are so good at shows.

following their set was San Jose’s own 880 South. and i have to apologize to all my friends who love them and want to support the local scene, but i was unimpressed with those guys. if you like really mellow reggae influenced muzik then they might be your thing, but for me personally, their was only about 30 seconds of their entire set that i enjoyed. the beginning of one song, and then the middle of some other song where they got really intense for about 10 seconds and then dropped all the intensity out and went slow again…i felt cheated personally…but that’s just me

and then the stars of the night hit the stage, Badfish.

now, it’s not that i was skeptical, but i was really interested to see what these guys could do and if they could live up to their reputation. i mean, being a Sublime tribute band – that’s got to be a tough thing to pull off. Sublime’s a very unique band, with a unique singer, and even though they had a short career, their discography amounts to a helluva lot of songs so it’s going to be hard to get a well rounded set that will please the whole crowd.

they did it though, Badfish was fucking great! and i highly encourage anyone who likes Sublime to make sure to check them out if they are playing in your area, especially for everyone out there like me who was too young to see Sublime play before Bradley died. all of the musicians in the band were great and the singer has an excellent voice for covering Sublime songs and sounding like Bradley, but not making it cheesy.

i don’t have a full set list from the show, but this covers a lot of it (definitely not all of it though – they played for a damn long time too)

Garden Grove
Wrong Way
We’re Only Going to Die for Our Own Arrogance
Caress me Down
Date Rape
Smoke Two Joints
Same in the End
Waiting for my Ruca
Scarlet Begonias
Doin’ Time
April 29, 1992 (Miami)
Pawn Shop
40 oz to Freedom
What I Got

their version of Doin’ Time was amazing. they extended the song quite a bit and brought in elements from many of the different version of the song out there. initially the singer/guitarist had no guitar during the song, but instead had a sax that he soloed with for a while until he went back to the guitar.

Pawn Shop broke down in the middle for a fucking amazing drum solo that allowed the drummer to show off his skills and prove that he’s a really musician, not just some guy playing in a cover band.

then on Caress Me Down (or maybe Date Rape but i’m almost positive it was Caress Me Down) they started to jam out in the end a lot, allowing the guitarist and bassist to really rock it for a bit showing their musicianship. the bassist was goddamn amazing too, as was the guitarist, but the bassist really impressed me, especially since the bass is so much the backbone of all Sublime songs so you can’t fuck that up.

there was quite the moment during What I Got towards the end. the band completely dropped out and everyone in the crowd was left singing as loud as they could lovin – is what i got, i said remember that. it was beautiful. it seems cliche, but it wasn’t. it was amazing, like a moment we had all been waiting for since the first time we heard that song.

and after that something else amazing happened. with What I Got and all the other big Sublime songs out of the way, they covered fuckin BRO HYMN!!! by Pennywise!!! fuck yeah! i heard the bass come in and i knew and went running to the pit to get in on that shit. it seemed like a lot of the crowd knew the song, but there was still a decent sized chunk that didn’t know it. not really a problem though, Bro Hymn is easy enough to sing along with. they played the longer extended version of it that Pennywise does at shows as well. absolutely amazing end to the show, and a great way to pay tribute to Bradley in my opinion, especially since the PW crew were all big Sublime fans. after Bradley’s death they played Same in the End quite a bit and recorded a studio version of it for the Sublime Tribute – Look At All The Love We’ve Found.

Bafish is amazing – make sure you see them live if you like Sublime
to all my friends – present past and beyond
especially those who weren’t with us too long
life is the most precious thing you can lose
while you were here the fun was never ending
Bradley Nowell this one’s for you


6 Responses to “Badfish w/Skaflaws, 880 South, and FUBAR”

  1. Hey man,

    First of all, thanks for all the nice things you said about our band.

    The guy who did Saw Red with us was Jake. He is the lead singer and guitar player from FUBAR, a rad dude.

    What did you think of our “All You Need” cover? We tried to pick the most badass song that we though Badfish wouldnt play.

    Hope to see/read you more at/on future shows.

  2. All You Need was really cool too. that’s a hard thing to pick out too, with what a extensive set Badfish played. Hope would’ve been really cool, the Descendents cover Sublime used to play, but maybe i just think that cause i listen to too much punk rock.

    and i definitely look forward too see you guys again

  3. Thanks for your honest review. I go through life knowing I can’t please everyone in the world but I had a good time performing. The only thing that matters to me really is that I go out and give it everything I got. I can’t expect everyone to love our music. Take care.

    Weege of 880 South

  4. Dude. You are a bafoon. First off. You called “Badfish” the stars. That has got to be the lamest shit I’ve ever heard in my life. The stars of what? Covering a kickass band? What’s so god damn special about a cover band?

    I mean seriously I got nothing against skaflaws or the band with the crippled guy but those 2 bands were not impressive. They didn’t suck or anything and the Love Is A Battlefield cover was kind of cool. But it sounded to me like a Save Ferris cover band.

    Second you say you feel cheated when you came to see a cover band and a kickass local support act gave their all on stage. You’re ungrateful and ignorant. It’s folks like yourself that hurt the overall music scene in Northern California.


  5. Hey Greyson ur a piece of shit who doesn’t know jack shit about music. Fubar and the skaflaws were fucking awesome at that show and i cant WAIT to see them again. A save ferris cover band? Are u kidding me? They didn’t even have a horn section!! They played way more rock than save ferris and their singer was 100 times better!!

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