Sublime with Rome is only to be sort of confused with California reggae/ska/dub superstars Sublime, who rose to fame in the 1990s just as their founding singer died of a heroin overdose.
The last remaining original member of Sublime still jamming with the reincarnated version the band, bassist Eric Wilson, now shares stages with newest members Josh Freese on drums and singer/guitarist Roman Ramirez, aka Rome. Their tour bus stops at The Paramount in Huntington Saturday, Aug. 9 for a highly anticipated set list that includes fan-favorite tributes to the late, great Sublime singer and guitarist Bradley Nowell as well as Rome-grown singles off their 2011 album, Yours Truly.
“When you put a bunch of musicians in the same room together, eventually they’re going to start to write,” Rome told Rapid City Journal last year while discussing the decision to branch out beyond playing Nowell’s classics. “We have a studio rig with us on this tour and a designated room where we’re going to be doing pre-production for an album we plan on dropping at the top of 2015.”
They’ve come a long way since ’95—the last time Nowell led the band in its only LI performance, at the first Warped Tour to hit Nassau Coliseum, a year before his death. Their ’96 self-titled album peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart and bore the band’s No. One hit single “What I Got” on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. Since then, the band continued to add angst-ridden teens to their fan base.
Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh initially parted ways until ’09, when they sought to restart the band using the Sublime name. Longtime Sublime fan, Rome, was their missing puzzle piece. The band was renamed Sublime with Rome following a lawsuit from Nowell’s estate.
At first, the band played the songs from Sublime’s original catalog, consisting of Robbin’ the Hood, their breakout sophomore effort, 40 Oz. to Freedom, and their self-titled album, which the band never had the chance to tour to promote. Songs from the latter two albums had been playing over radio airwaves for the two decades that followed.
But, Sublime with Rome wasn’t content to be just a band covering themselves. They performed their first original score, “Panic,” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! during their summer tour in ‘10. Their first post-Bradley album was released the following year.
Shortly later, Gaugh decided that life on the road was no longer a fitting lifestyle for him and quit the band. Josh Freese, who has served as drummer boy for the likes of Sting, The Offspring, and Guns N Roses, has filled the seat behind Sublime with Rome’s drum kit.
With bassist Wilson the last remaining original member still playing with the band it should be easier for fans to separate the two entities and embrace the differences between Sublime and Sublime with Rome. Instead of getting salty about the idea of some new young stud trying to be Bradley, fanatics can recognize the trio as an honorable tribute to their departed beloved that still likes to write music because that’s what musicians do best.
Sublime with Rome is more than a cover/retro/throwback band. By just existing, they have revitalized crushed dreams of California-minded Sublime lovers of the past by offering opportunities to experience authentic live Sublime-esque jam sessions again. For those just stumbling across the Sublime catalog for the first time, they offer an opportunity to see Bradley’s musical intentions through the mindful lyrics of Rome.
Oogee Wawa, an alt-reggae hip hop-fusion band hailing from Long Island (represent!), will be opening. Check them out!
Spoiler Alert: Expect Sublime classics, as Sublime with Rome is known to practice a little “Santeria,” “What I Got” and “Smoke Two Joints,” among others on a regular basis. For followers since Nowell and fresh ears alike, this is a must-see. Sublime with Rome promises to show you just what they’ve got: unique flavor, fresh perspective, authentic style, and a whole lot of lovin’, of course.