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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

Arizona WBB looks to rebound at home against UC San Diego
Jason Dayee, Assistant Sports Editor • December 7, 2023

    Badfish pays tribute to Sublime

    Pat Downes, lead singer and songwriter for Badfish, jams away during the Badfish concert last Thursday at the Rialto Theatre. After opening for themselves under the name Scotty Dont, Badfish revealed itself and closed out the show.
    Pat Downes, lead singer and songwriter for Badfish, jams away during the Badfish concert last Thursday at the Rialto Theatre. After opening for themselves under the name Scotty Don’t, Badfish revealed itself and closed out the show.

    Bro’s rejoice! Sublime may be gone, but their spirit lives on in Badfish, an impressive tribute to the white boy reggae ensemble, who rocked the Rialto late last Thursday. I say “”late”” because a staggering four openers preceded the tribute set, getting the predominantly youthful audience both pumped and restless.

    The first opener was The Hounds, a three-man hip-hop/reggae joint formed here in Tucson. Though brief, their set was a solid mix of reggae rhythm and catchy lyrics that got the crowd clapping along. Next to take the stage was The Skanks, an ensemble ska endeavor with a four-man brass section that definitely lightened the mood in the increasingly crowded concert hall. Third on the roster was Skitn, a straightforward reggae group with a tropical feel. In one of the most consistent and impressive sets of the evening, Skitn laid down 45 minutes of cool reggae beats including “”Rescue Me,”” an audience favorite that got the whole front half of the theater bouncing. The last band to take the stage before the headliner introduced themselves as Scotty Don’t, “”close personal friends of Badfish.”” After a set of heavy pop-rock/reggae jams that inspired more than one mosh pit, vocalist Pat Downes noted, “”By the way, we’re also Badfish. We’ll be right back!””

    When the boys returned as Badfish, they launched headlong into a punkish medley of Sublime hits that included energetic renditions of “”Don’t Push”” and “”Saw Red.”” Both of which inspired a majority of the audience to either sing along emphatically or pounce on one another in the first of many mosh pits to emerge over the next 90 minutes. Though the band had more than proven their skills during the previous set, the flighty guitar, wailing synth, and hypnotic bass riffs of Sublime amplified their sound and their stage presence twofold, providing a musical dream for the increasingly inebriated audience. Badfish played every single imaginable from Sublime’s catalog, getting especially enthusiastic reactions during the first half of the set for “”Santeria”” and “”Doin’ Time”” (Summertiiiime, and the livin’s easy). During the latter tune, a horde of pubescent femmes from the crowd invaded the stage to express their undying love for Sublime before being expressly removed by security. When the band sang “”Two Joints”” about halfway through the set, the audience humbly abided by the lyrics as wayward puffs of smoke filled the air.

    As the night went on, the relative popularity of Sublime tunes began to increase, and as the set approached its conclusion Badfish whipped out an absolutely incendiary cover of “”April 29, 1992″” that got the whole theater screaming “”Wanna let it burn, wanna wanna let it burn!”” The crowds’ screams did not subside during the band’s mandatory fake-ending-before-the-encore, and remained constant while Badfish ended the show with “”Date Rape,”” “”Pawn Shop,”” and, the staple Sublime single, “”What I Got.”” The last chord was struck just before midnight, and after four and a half hours of rocking out to some of the best reggae-rock to visit Tucson, the exhausted and exuberant crowd shuffled home, presumably to smoke “”two joints.””

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