This show started on such a strong note and kept a steady pace of amazing music throughout the night. I’m so happy that is what I did with my Sunday evening. Echo Beach is a big venue and there were tons of people there. I went alone, but I made a handful of new friends throughout each set… who I promptly lost in the crowd directly after said set. This is unusual for me. I’m usually the fly on the wall type if I don’t know anyone. But the music and the weather and the view got me out of my shell. Pepper, Rebelution, and Sublime with Rome were great together.
Pepper got the crowd really hyped and it was impossible not to feel that way watching them. They brought it. These three rambunctious guys from Kailua-Kona Hawaii are killer live. The sound was a mix of hooky, melodic rock and mellow reggae. Although some of their influences were pretty easy to pinpoint, their sound was original. The three piece informed us that they actually had a forth member that night – a lead singer – and that was us. We sang a few of their choruses for them, and they made us chant every time they sang us the words ‘are you ready?’ we sang back ‘yes I’m ready’. It sounded pretty weird and off key at first when everyone was just trying to wing the melody (most people being too intoxicated to really get it the first few times), but we all caught on eventually. At least eighty five percent of the songs were about dirty, filthy sex. So if somehow nothing else was getting you about the show, you could at least be laughing at the ridiculous, vulgar lyrics.
Rebelution was a big change of pace. Everything and everyone wound down significantly. This wasn’t a bad thing, but it was a little strange to have the energy go from amped, to really laid back, to insane again by the time Sublime with Rome got on stage. Rebelution have some beautiful songs. I really respect what they do. There are a lot of moving parts to this music. Artfully, it blends into a mellow groovy instrumentation. The playful yet relaxed melodies and the lyrical content put you into the a euphoric state of mind and being.
And then Sublime with Rome came along and shut the whole thing down. I honestly haven’t been in that great a mood in a long time. I felt so connected with people in the crowd simply because I knew what they were experiencing, and vice versa. I don’t think I’ve ever bonded so strongly with complete strangers. No conversation was necessary, we just sang the lyrics together, danced together, and understood each other. There’s nothing like getting a bunch of avid Sublime fans on a beach together to party and sing Sublime songs. I was happy to hear some new tracks off the latest album Sirens as well. Sublime with Rome encompassed the energy they knew the crowd wanted, and we were very grateful that they did. I would strongly suggest seeking out the live show. If you are hoping that, when you go to this show, you’ll get in a time machine back to 92′ and see Sublime, don’t go. It is obviously not the same experience. But Sublime with Rome, better than almost anyone else in the world, understand what that experience was. They make you lose yourself in these songs again, like some part of yourself somewhere in you dying to do every time you listen to them. I for one am very happy Sublime with Rome are still taking these songs and their own material on tour and spreading the love. And lovin’ is what we got… now remember that.
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Review by Thea McKay