Given that it’s the first week of 2012, I won’t get ahead of myself and declare Friday’s Sublime tribute show the party of the year, but I will say I’m pretty sure it’ll be a while before something tops it.
The show was a long time in the making and a real logistical feat: a rotating line-up of musicians performing an extensive set for over 3 hours. It’s weird, I kinda skipped the ska-phase that many of my friends went through during high school – I never watched bands like Hog Hoggidy Hog or Fuzigish back in the day and, before Friday, could name only 3 Sublime songs, but even though I’m not a big fan of the genre, I had an amazing time.
The show was totally insane, and has to have featured the most (amusing) stage-divers I’ve seen in one night.
It didn’t really feel like a gig, more like some kind of musical or cabaret, starring a ska/punk supergroup-behemoth. Members of Peachy Keen, 7th Son, Captain Stu, Hog Hoggidy Hog, Fuzigish, Juke Royal, Van Coke Kartel, Taxi Violence as well as loads of ones I didn’t recognise from Half Price, General Disarray and LP Show, constantly chopped and changed roles (guitarists became lead vocalists, unexpected and lots of fun) and band-mates, setting and maintaining a level of super high energy.
Mercury was jam-packed (and apparently sold out by 10pm) and ridiculously hot. The masses heaved violently, sweaty bodies in varying stages of undress slamming against each other (and the stage), drinks raining down, dreads whipping back and forth – being near the moshpit was pretty harrowing.
Since I don’t know the music, I can’t really comment on the fidelity of Friday’s renditions, but judging by the crowd’s reactions, I think it’s safe to assume they did justice to the originals. There were 3 or 4 performances that underwhelmed me a bit but overall it was a fantastic experience, and so cool to watch the undisguised joy of everyone on the stage – it was obvious they’re all big fans of Sublime and they really looked like they were all having the time of their lives.
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