Raven Benwait | The Heavy Press | November 18, 2016 | Rebel Nightclub, Toronto | Do not crop or modify these images | Do not use without permission

Words & Photography by: Raven Benwait

To kick off the Reggae and Ska-Punk filled night, Sublime with Rome and The Skints arrived to Rebel Nightclub, formerly known as the Sound Academy. On November 18, 2016, also known as the last warm day of the season, people were arriving in colourful Sublime-style t-shirts, smiles and good vibes.

The enormous venue was already filling up when The Skints arrived on stage, from London, England. This band was so unique and really stood out to me. Marcia Richards is a vocalist, plays flute, saxophone and the keys in The Skints; this to me is pure talent, as it made the music sound uniquely great with a variety of instruments. Their music was definitely very “chill,” and consisted of some greatly timed Ska-style guitar riffs, which meshed very well with the three vocalists. They sang in multiple keys from Soprano to Alto and it worked fantastically with the consistent drum beats. Their creative music reminded me of a 1990’s Caribbean beach vibe. There was a great combination of American Jazz, rhythm, blues and Jamaican style Reggae, and ofcourse perfectly timed off-beats.

A song in particular I was digging is called “Friends & Business.” First, it is simply so catchy. I feel like there is so much going on in the song, from instrumental to vocal use – it is just so broad, but they make it sound so simple and clean. Again, it reminds me of an island type song, especially with the Reggae-style drumming. Overall, The Skints is a band I would highly recommend, for those that are interested in the genre of Ska.

Next, headliners Sublime with Rome hit the stage, opening with “Date Rape,” which is a cover of the original Sublime song. At this point the venue reeked of pot and some angry security, but the band kept it going and fans continued singing and dancing with so much excitement. From Long Beach, California, Rome Ramirez was quite similar to the original Sublime vocalist, Bradely Nowell. Now, I’ve seen countless bands cover Sublime, and it’s not often you hear a vocalist who sounds so similar to Nowell. This touched my heart, being a huge Sublime fan, as the Ramirez did an awesome job.

Next up, they covered “Smoke Two Joints,” which was a Toyes cover. Again, another fantastically covered song. One of my favourites of the night was “Wrong Way;” people were dancing, people were singing and the surrounding feelings were just fantastic. A few more covers included the famous “40oz. to Freedom,” “Pawn Shop” and “We’re Only Gonna Die for Our Own Arrogance.”

Sublime with Rome continued with “Summertime,” which perfectly described the nights weather as it was the last day of warm weather in the city. They continued with the groovy “Badfish” which is a fan favourite, followed by “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” a song that described a good percentage of the crowd that night.

The most engaging song was the encore songs, “What I Got.” Everyone sang “Lovin’ is what I got!” It was a great feeling singing together, especially when “Santeria” came on, as the last song of the night. The feeling in the crowd was warm, happy and filled with so much love during this song. Random people were turning to me and others and singing the words together.

As mentioned earlier, it is not often that you will find bands that can cover Sublime so well. With a combination of stoner Rock, Punk, a hint of Rap, Funk, Ska and Reggae from around the world, their music is unique. It is unfortunate that the original Sublime is no longer here making music, but I thank Sublime with Rome for their covers. Their covers were the closest to this solid, poetic, groovy music and I applaud them for their ability to cover Sublime. They brought a warm feeling to many true Sublime fans hearts, from all ages and almost everyone left the venue in a great mood.

Sublime with Rome


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