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Badfish is More Than Just a Cover Band

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Bradley Nowell’s Timeless Legacy Echoes Through Badfish’s Authentic Sublime Vibes.

January 19th, 2024

As a child of the ’90s, much like myself, the mention of Sublime undoubtedly stirs nostalgic emotions. For those who cherish Sublime’s musical journey, the name Badfish is likely familiar as the esteemed cover band that has faithfully preserved Bradley Nowell‘s creations over the years. The question lingering in the minds of many is whether Badfish lives up to the hype and delivers an exceptional live performance. The answer becomes apparent once you experience the magic they bring to the stage.

My journey with Badfish at Jupiter’s Abacoa Amphitheater unfolded alongside performances by special guests Of Good Nature and Kash’d Out. Of Good Nature set the stage with a captivating rendition of “Valerie,” infusing the atmosphere with a slow, melodic charm. The crowd erupted in excitement when Kash’d Out struck the chords of “I’ve Got This.” The opening acts, without a doubt, left an indelible mark and set the bar high for the night.

Having been fortunate enough to witness Sublime’s brilliance before Bradley’s untimely departure, I held high expectations. However, as I closed my eyes and immersed myself in Badfish’s performance, it became evident that they were equally phenomenal. The ambience transported the audience back to the mid-to-late ’90s, with the majestic sounds of Sublime resonating through the speakers. Singing along to classics like “Garden Grove,” “Caress Me Down,” and “Smoke Two Joints,” I felt momentarily transported to my late teens and early twenties. The pinnacle of the night was reached when Badfish covered “Santeria,” a fan-favorite that truly captivated the audience.

The evolution of Sublime, with Bradley’s twenty-eight-year-old son Jakob Nowell now at the forefront, adds a layer of intrigue to their narrative. Witnessing how the new front-man engages with the devoted Badfish fans will undoubtedly be an intriguing chapter in Sublime’s ongoing story.

Reflecting on the performance, it’s uncertain whether Bradley, Bud, and Eric would have endorsed the vibrant and spirited display by the cover band. Admittedly, I didn’t closely scrutinize their every move or antic, but the enchanting melodies pouring out of the speakers created a sense of pure magic. For a brief moment, I was seamlessly transported back to my twenties—a testament to the truly special experience that Badfish crafted, keeping Bradley Nowell’s legacy alive in the most authentic and mesmerizing way possible.

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