In celebration of and in tribute to the music of Sublime, almost a dozen bands played short sets at the Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre in Hollywood on Oct. 24 to benefit the MusiCares MAP Fund.
Sublime, one of the most popular bands of the 20-something generation, set the trend for the raw blending of punk rock, reggae, ska, and hip-hop music. The band’s music captured the hearts of diverse audiences, and continues to inspire musicians around the world.
Just as Sublime’s popularity soared in 1996, vocalist and guitarist Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose. The tragedy, however, did not cause any one to forget their music.
In June 2005, “Look At All The Love We Found: A Sublime Tribute” was released, featuring Sublime covers by No Doubt, Pennywise, Jack Johnson and more.
The Music Box hosted the tribute party, which benefited the MusiCares MAP Fund, an organization created to provide aid for musicians who were affected by the recent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast. Fishbone, Ozomatli, Los Lobos, Blackalicious, Unwritten Law, among others, were among the talented musicians who made the night a success.
Bob Forrest, singer/songwriter of Thelonious Monster, opened the show speaking to the nearly sold out audience about the night’s eventful gathering. He recited a compelling excerpt by Nowell that revealed his love for all different genres of music.
“Good music is good music, and that should be enough for anybody,” he said.
With each band playing only a few songs, the performances were short but enjoyable. On the hip-hop front, AWOL One and Abstract Rude brought their L.A. underground flavor, while Bay area hip-hoppers Blackalicious got everyone’s hands up in the air.
On the reggae-rock tip, Bargain Music, Unwritten Law, The Ziggens and former Sublime bassist Eric Wilson’s own band, Long Beach Short Bus, played several Sublime songs, which the whole crowd participated in.
During the event, artists Kofie, Jimmy Herciuk and John Gill painted canvases outside, in the rain, providing additional visual entertainment for audience members.
When Fishbone took the stage, the audience was taken by surprise. Due to Angelo Moore’s (vocals, sax) crazy antics and Fishbone’s hardcore ska music, wild mosh pits formed and the room filled laughter.
Moore also performed with Tim Armstrong (Rancid/The Transplants), Tony Kanal (No Doubt), and the Aggrolites for a one-time ultra-exclusive act, playing covers of ska songs like the Selecter’s “Too Much Pressure” and The English Beat’s, “Mirror In The Bathroom.”
At the end of the show, many musicians gathered on stage as the biggest jam band performance unfolded before the audience’s eyes. The beautiful finale was highlighted by two of Sublime’s greatest hits, “Doin’ Time,” and “What I Got,” played by the guys from Ozomatli, Fishbone, Bargain Music, Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Ikey Owens (The Mars Volta), and Wilson.
“It’s cool to honor them,” Owens said during the show. “Sublime is one of the first bands that I ever saw play live in my life.”
Annette Ovanessian can be reached at email@example.com.