Many fans of early-to-mid ’90s alt-rock trio Sublime never saw the band play live. When singer/guitarist Brad Nowell’s battle with addiction finally caught up with him in a San Francisco hotel room in the summer of 1996, Sublime was weeks away from releasing an eponymously titled third album. Nowell’s death was tragic for the Long Beach band’s followers, but the media coverage brought unprecedented attention to Sublime’s blend of reggae, rock, punk and ska. Songs such as “Santeria,” “Wrong Way” and “What I Got” enjoyed heavy rotation for the rest of the decade, but Sublime would no longer function as a band—at least until 2009.
Drummer Bud Gaugh and bassist Eric Wilson played Sublime songs in their Long Beach Dub
Allstars project, but in February 2009 they debuted a new Sublime lineup with guitarist Rome Ramirez. A legal wrangle with Nowell’s estate led to a name alteration, and by 2010 Sublime with Rome was touring heavily. Journeyman drummer Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle, Devo, Nine Inch Nails) has since replaced Gaugh, but with old friends Cypress Hill on the bill, fans can party old-school-style just like when Nowell was cranking out ska upstrokes on his guitar as if the concert would never end. –Matt Kelemen