The return of Sublime to the stage, is an amazing feat in itself. Since the death of Bradley, I don't think either the band nor it's fans ever expected Sublime to recover. Rumors have been flourishing for years that Sublime would again return to the stage, but until that day came, I was a strict non-believer. Well, today is that day, Sublime with Rome, The Dirty Heads, and Del Mar are putting on a sold out show at Mandalay Beach.
Due to severe lack of planning, it was already the day of show and we needed four tickets. Typical of most desirable concerts in Las Vegas, a large percentage of "sold" tickets were in the hands of scalpers, who were asking triple face value per ticket. Since I refuse to support these scum, I hung around the Mandalay Bay Box Office for hours until finally at 6pm, more tickets were released for sale. Stressed and down to the wire, none of that mattered now, we were going to Sublime!
Although we missed the special performance by Matisyahu at 2pm, we arrived just in time to catch a few songs from Del Mar. The Beach already looked heavily occupied, we grabbed a spot in the sand while we had the chance, and people filled in all around us. The reggae/ska music, warm breeze, and the feeling of sand on your hands and feet was just right. Everyone was chilling, drinking, and passing joints as time seemed to melt away.
The Dirty Heads surprised me with their record quality live performance. Each member, including Rome on guitar, played clean, cool grooves and put on a relaxed show. I even more impressed withe The Dirty Heads when they closed with a truly unique version of The Rolling Stone's Paint it Black. If you weren't in front of the stage getting your skank on, then you were holding down the blanket, drawing pictures in the sand. It was a perfect evening for beautiful music and beautiful people. The only thing killing the vibe was the 30+ minute drink lines and the seemingly endless influx of people, walking all around you.
By the time Sublime hit the stage, the audience was already bursting with anticipation. We were a sea of anxious fans, who had been waiting for a Sublime show for over a decade. Sublime with Rome played an incredible two hour setlist: Date Rape, Smoke Two Joints, April 26th 1992, Get Ready, Seed, Jailhouse, Ebin, Garden Grove, Let's Go Get Stoned, Right Back, Dont Push, STP, Greatest Hits, Badfish, Let's Go Get Stoned, Panic, 40oz. to Freedom, Doin' Time, and Wrong Way. Sublime even had enough energy left for a bittersweet encore: Scarlet Begonias, What I Got, and Santeria.
Rome was full of energy and I thought he really did justice to the legacy Bradley left behind. The band flowed together naturally, songs easily transitioned into one another, recognizing every guitar riff and singing along as one. Every spot at Mandalay Beach was great, whether you stood back in the sand, up front in the water, or to the side in either pool. I heard many fans exclaim that the “aqua pit” was by far one of the most awesome and unique experiences they had ever had.
The vibe was so incredible and the feel of the elements all around really made it feel like a private beach party with Sublime. Everyone left the venue smiling ear to ear and just raving about how impressed they were with Rome. If you are a Sublime fan, I would suggest traveling to a show near you. This opportunity to see Sublime with Rome and The Dirty Heads should not be missed by anyone.