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G. Love Rock & Jakobs Castle Rock Fort Lauderdale!

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From Sublime Echoes to Saucy Blues: The Unmissable Night of G. Love & Special Sauce along with opener Jakobs Castle.

February 17th, 2024

I’m not from Philly, and I don’t usually get into bands that jam, but when I was asked to review G. Love & Special Sauce at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale on February 17th, I said, “why not?” It was my birthday weekend, and what better way to celebrate than to see a live show! When I was waiting in line to get into the Culture Room, I made some new friends who were more than enthusiastic about G. Love & Special Sauce, so I knew I was in for a good night. I had no idea what a treat I would be in for!

I was walking around the stage when I saw a young man in his 20s setting up the equipment for the opening band. I recognized him and, in a moment, it all came to me.  Jakobs Castle, the “three-man” band from Long Beach, California was opening. Jakob Nowell, son of Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell, was the young man in front of me.  Nowell introduced his band, which included himself, a drummer he had just seemingly hired, and a laptop. Jakobs Castle played original songs “Catch Me” and “2 hours,” which infused electronic melodies with hints of Sublime origins. Nowell announced his plans to tour with Sublime and ripped out two Sublime hits, “April 29th 1992,” and “Garden Grove.” Later, Nowell played “Sublime’s Greatest Hits” with G Love and Special Sauce as he had promised before he left the stage with his band. It will be interesting to see how fans react to Jakob Nowell as Sublime is set to tour this year. I had the privilege of seeing Bradley Nowell play live before his tragic death, and I can tell you, there are definitely strong similarities between the young man and his father.

Shifting to the main act, G. Love & Special Sauce presented a unique and saucy musical style, blending experimental blues, hip hop, rock, and soul. Their second song, aptly titled “Blues Music,” showcased the integral role blues plays in their sound, attracting a diverse fan base. G. Love & Special Sauce entered the stage at the Culture Room and gave what would become one of the most emotional live performances I have ever witnessed.

“We don’t get to play these deep cuts often,” G. Love told the audience at the Culture Room which was part of the 30th anniversary tour for his 1994 debut album, G. Love & Special Sauce. Over the course of the evening, the band played the record, which nearly went gold and remains their most popular, pretty much in its entirety. They strummed “Shooting Hoops” and the crowd engaged immediately. Throughout the performance, Garrett Dutton, “G. Love,” was noticeably emotional as he played his harmonica and strummed his guitar. Earlier in the evening at the VIP meet and greet Dutton explained he was mourning the death of his hero, Jimmy Buffet. After most of the set was finished, the band would play a beautiful rendition of Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” which just so happens to be my favorite Buffet song! The mood was infectious with the honor to Buffet’s memory. The night was heavy with emotion as the memories and affection for two of music’s great talents, Bradley Nowell and Jimmy Buffet, resonated throughout the night.

Both the opening act, Jakobs Castle, and headliner, G. Love & Special Sauce made my forty-seventh birthday a memorable one. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to share the space with both amazing live acts.

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