Although the initial reaction to the band’s formation was surrounded by mixed responses, a full house of casual 90’s alternative rock listeners and dedicated reggae rock advocates found their way to Tampa’s Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre to pay witness to another notable summer tour: Sublime with Rome and Rebelution.
The unification of bassist Eric Wilson, formerly of Sublime, and singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez has only been around since 2009, however the wealth of ska punk anthems from Wilson’s previous body of work transferred along with this partnership. This gave the collaboration enough weight to then build their own body of work, as indicated on the two Sublime with Rome studio albums, 2011’s ‘Yours Truly’ and 2015’s ‘Sirens.’
Before the crowd would dance in the aisles and sing along to “Doin’ Time,” the stage would be warmed up with a like-minded performance from Pepper. Since breaking out of the Hawaiian reggae rock scene in 1997, the band has similarly developed a sizable following. It wasn’t overtly surprising that fans in any direction could be found donning Pepper apparel and jamming along to the tight grooves of “No Control” and “Hunny Girl.”
Rebelution were able to have an even stronger control over the crowd, perhaps due to their unique array of stage props and performers. Rounding out the salt chuck rhythms were artificial rock structures and even a pair of painters who were depicting a tropical environment onto a canvas. Alongside engaging brass melodies and quaint complimentary guitar, lead vocalist Eric Rachmany offered up the melodic vocals to “Bright Side of Life” and the relaxed “Sky Is the Limit.”
Sublime with Rome employed a luminous backdrop proudly featuring the cover artwork to this year’s ‘Sirens’ release, along with a shadowy lighting arrangement which particularly complimented Rome Ramirez at the main microphone and guitar. Along with the obligatory “Paddle Out” and “Pawn Shop,” Sublime with Rome would explore different territory through covers of Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, The Toyes and Fishbone, which all retained that distinctive Sublime feel.
The crowd responded favorable to the introduction of “Badfish/ Let’s Go Get Stoned,” which inconsequentially was met with a cloud of smoke from within the standing room audience in front of the stage. When it came down to the encore, Sublime with Rome started off gradually with “House Party” from ‘Sirens’ before kicking into full gear with top notch renditions of “What I Got” and the definitive “Santeria.”
Whatever uncertainty within the Tampa crowd about this reincarnation of Sublime was promptly put to rest with Sublime with Rome’s spot-on performance, which brought new life to the catalog of fan favorites in addition to memorable cover songs and decent new compositions.
Sublime with Rome Setlist 8/14/15 Tampa, FL Midflorida Credit Union Ampitheatre
Smoke Two Joints (The Toyes cover)
Don’t Push/ Garden Grove/ Right Back/ New Thrash
Scarley Begonias (Grateful Dead cover)
40oz. to Freedom
Shankin’ To The Beat (Fishbone cover)
We’re Only Gonna Die (Bad Religion cover)
April 29, 1992
Badfish/ Let’s Go Get Stoned
What Is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin cover)
What I Got
Sublime with Rome