If Reggae on Steroids is your thing, then the Cain’s Ballroom was the place to be Wednesday night. It all started off with local favorite, Sam and the Stylees. They started the show roughly 15 minutes early to a fairly small crowd. About half way through their set the ballroom began to fill up and the crowd was really getting into their progressive-groove-funk style. This band is very interactive with the audience with a lot of raw energy. With an organic reggae sound and a message of love and family, Sam and the Styles started the night off right.
Austin Texas based band Full Service was next. This was their fourth time to play the historic Cains Ballroom. If you have never heard them, they are like Black Sabbath meets Bob Marley. The music is infectious with a heavy rock, groove-funk sound. During their song “Black is Back”, they even throw in a few lines from “Bring the Noise” by Public Enemy. Full Service’s front man and guitar player “Bonesaw” joked about changing the band name to “Coat Tails” since they played to a full house the two times they opened for someone else at the Cains. But the one time they came by themselves, they only played to security, the sound guy and Brad (Brad Harris, Cains building manager). Full Service finished their set with the song “Trumpets” to which Bonesaw surfed the crowd on a surf board. Never a dull moment watching these guys. If you have never seen Full Service, do yourself a favor and catch them the next chance you get.
Three words; Reggae, Ska, Rock. If you like that combination then you will love Scotty Don’t. The crowd was definitely familiar with the bands songs as I saw many singing along to this “feel good” edgy music. Pat Downes is a solid lead singer. He really knows how to pull you in and make you experience their music. If you are fan of Sublime, then you would easily become a fan of Scotty Don’t. In case you didn’t know, the members of Scotty Don’t are also the guys that make up Badfish.
One of the highlights of the night, maybe even the year, came next. As we were nearing the end of the intermission music before Badfish came on, Bohemian Rhapsody started over the P.A. Instantly as if on cue all 600+ fans in attendance, including myself, began to sing. You could see lighters lit all across the room and when the time was right, everyone was banging there heads in unison. It would have made Wayne and Garth proud.
Everyone was still energized from the sing-a-long when Badfish took the stage. From the git-go, they had a great stage presence. They put their own twists on Sublime classics like “Wrong Way” and “Santeria”. They have a way of making it a “Badfish Show” even though they are all Sublime cover tunes. The dancing in the audience resembled Woodstock footage and every word to every song was being sung by all. It was a very free-spirited, fun show. Badfish is the only touring Sublime cover band. What makes them stand out from other cover bands is the huge fan base they have. You would only expect a following like this from a mainstream act. I definitely have new cd’s to buy.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle