Better late than never. Below is the review of the Badfish concert at Revolution Live this past Thursday (3/17).
The streets in downtown Ft. Lauderdale were packed with drinkers the night of St. Patty’s Day. The street was blocked off for a massive block party with portable outdoor bars and bands littering the street and bars nearby. But while the throngs were outside drinking copious amounts of alcohol and listening to mediocre cover bands playing hits from Billy Idol, a real concert worthy of drinking yourself into a stupor over was about to begin.
Badfish, a.k.a Scotty Don’t, gained a nationwide following by performing the music of the notorious party band, Sublime. They’ve been doing it for years and they do it well. Very well.
The show got going at about 9:00 p.m. with Miami’s own reggae kings, Jahfe. They were a great mood setter for the acts to come. The venue wasn’t nearly as crowded as it was the night before for Rebelution. The throngs generally stayed at the block party around the corner from Revolution Live, but there it was loaded enough for a rowdy time.
Scotty Don’t went on shortly after Jahfe. They played a set of originals mixed in with a couple covers that included some classic NOFX. But that was just a precursor to the main event.
When Badfish came on, only the players participating in the tunes were out on the stage. They brought everyone smoking outside in with Sublime’s self-titled album icon, Garden Grove. From there, they moved on to cover the gamut of Sublime’s repertoire with versions of party jams like “DJs,” and “Don’t Push,” to pit galvanizing punk numbers like “Paddle Out,” and “Same in the End.”
The unmistakable intro to April 29, 1992 set off a riot of cheers and applause. The building reverberated with the sound of hundreds of people screaming “1-8-7 on a motherfucking COP!”
They brought a girl out to sing Gwen Stefani’s part in Robbin’ the Hood’s “Saw Red.”
The tunes and the vibe they elicited brought me back to high school. Back to days when there was little accountability, less responsibility and no respect for cops. Smokers sparked the reefer and passed it around. Drinkers spilled plastic cups of beer when people came barreling across the mosh pits. The saxophonist climbed into a giant inflatable ball and rolled himself out onto the masses below. Those classic tunes kept on coming and everyone seemed to know the lyrics.
When they finished, fans hollered for an encore. Badfish returned to play a few more songs including Sublime’s first hit, “Date Rape.” The final song was a surprise Pennywise tune. The song, “Bro Hymn,” was a tribute to one of the band’s friends who died. This “Bro Hymn” went out to the man responsible for each and every tune in that final set. The man who died too young to enjoy the massive worldwide success of band he created and the songs he wrote.
“Bradley Nowell, this one’s for you!” shouted singer/guitarist Pat Downes.
All photos by Kathleen Griffith.