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Badfish splashes to Town Ballroom tonight

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

It’s okay if the phrase “tribute band” conjures mental images of portly, graying men hacking at guitars and belting out the Beatles’ “Let It Be” at your local pub. In a lot of cases, that’s a fair guess. But in Badfish’s case, this tribute band isn’t too distant from the legends it honors.

Badfish rolls into Buffalo for a 7 p.m. show tonight at Town Ballroom. Tickets are $19 and can be purchased here or at the door. Usually Badfish sells out Town Ballroom—they’re here roughly once a year, sometimes twice—very quickly, so the fact that tickets are still available is a bit of a surprise.

It’s been 17 years since Bradley Nowell, the lead singer of Sublime, died of a heroin overdose and abruptly ended what many thought would evolve into one of the greatest ska-punk bands of all-time. Still, six times multi-platinum is nothing to stick your nose up at, and that’s a fact that Badfish has recognized.


Badfish may perform hit Sublime tracks like “What I Got,” “Wrong Way” and “Santeria,” but they’ve adopted their own style apart from their originators. Here’s a snippet from their press bio:

Badfish make their mark on the audience by playing with the spirit of Sublime.  They perform not as Sublime would have, or did, but as Badfish does.  The attitude of Sublime cannot be faked, so Badfish doesn’t try – its own tribute is one that works.

“We don’t really act the part so much as just play the music and celebrate their catalog,” Badfish lead singer Pat Downes said to Krista Wilkinson-Midgley of the Edge.

“That’s what is most important to us…It’s feel good music, and we really dig that vibe. It’s great to be able to replicate that. You don’t have to do hard drugs and drink every night to enjoy a good tune. Sometimes you get a little too much in you and things happen, but for the most part, it’s cool.”

(Header photo courtesy of Chuck Alaimo from Nov. 6, 2011—see the full gallery here).

TAGGED: badfish, bradley nowell, concerts, pat downes, town ballroom, tribute band

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