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January 9, 2008

Badfish

At least a dozen people stood outside Power Plant Live last Friday night looking for tickets to that night's Badfish show at Rams Head Live.

Must have been sold out. 

Badfish are a Sublime tribute band with almost no stage presence. They stand up there and play the songs pretty much verbatim.

The fact that a so-so tribute band can sell out the 1,600 capacity venue blows my mind.

It just shows you how good Sublime singer/guitarist/songwriter Bradley Nowell was.

Badfish are capitalizing on all the high school and college kids with money to burn who never got to see the real Sublime live because singer Brad Nowell OD'd before the band broke mainstream.

I've been to a Badfish show. Close your eyes and it's great.

Open them and it's just weird.

But, hey, more power to the dudes in Badfish who are making a living doing it. 


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:40 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Local music
        

Comments

Actually, they have another band - Scotty Don't - that plays originals and typically opens up for Badfish (which I imagine would make for a long show for the guys). Scotty Don't isn't bad, but you're right - Badfish is great if you can close your eyes and just jam out, Otherwise.....

Sam, you really struck a nerve with me on this topic.

I think it's pathetic that a trio of so-called performers can sell out a large club and not even break a sweat doing it.

Even if the musicianship of the band is good enough to pass muster with the young attendees, these fans are not getting a total live music experience. However, because of their youth, they don't know what they're missing.

I can't blame the band for not putting more effort into their stage presence. Why should they, when their audience continues to reward them handsomely for just standing and playing.

Your Badfish experience reminds me of the lackluster "performance" given by Amy Winehouse at V-Fest '07 and Lilly Allen at last year's SXSW music festival.

The audience for SXSW is full of music industry types, and they were very disappointed by Miss Allen's unprofessionalism. Her short, lame show got slammed in a review published in The Chronicle. I'm glad the journalist had the guts to not gloss over her shortcomings.

I was one of the many people who were really looking forward to seeing her perform the funny, quirky songs from "Alright, Still". I was so letdown.

I'm in my mid-forties and have been attending shows for the last 25+ years. I've seen many incredible shows and my share of mediocre ones.

I vote with my wallet when it comes to seeing a disappointing band for a second time.

Maybe the young people who attend Badfish shows will one day experience an enthusiastic live music show. Only then will they realize their entertainment money was well spent.

Courtney. Gotta disagree with you here on this point.

First off, did you ever see Sublime? It's not like they were the most energetic group in the history of stage shows. I grew up in Orange County and was lucky enough to see them a half dozen times and the only time I ever saw them with energy was when Gwen Stefani would sit in on songs with them. Which was incredible at the time.

Second, Badfish does have a stage presence, but if I'm reading Sam's comments correctly, what he is saying is that because they sound so much like Sublime, it is weird not seeing Brad, Eric and crew up on stage. You close your eyes and you hear sublime, you open them and you don't see Sublime.

Lastly, don't compare these guys to a strung out, wanna be rockstar like Amy Winehouse. These guys work their [butts] off. They travel all over the country without the posh lifestyle that Amy Winehouse has and they really do kick [butt] everytime they get up on stage. They've gotten to the point where they were just a nice tribute band to actually being able to make a nice living off this crazy music business that's so incredibly sleazy, complicated and sometimes downright horrendous.

My former band opened up for them a while back and they were the nicest most down to earth guys I've ever met. They even threw us some extra money at the end of the night because we helped them sell out the Recher.

Rant over...back to your normal programming.

Yes, it is indeed pathetic. Not what these lads are doing, but that so many idiots would pay to see them do it. There are so many great acts out there right now. Why on earth sit through a cover band? Unless there is a good drink special, of course.

Courtney: regarding Lily Allen at SxSW last year, in my experience most big acts disappoint every single year. The joys of the conference come in the little surprises. Lily was already a known commodity. She did her thing, drank her beers, smoked her smokes, and moved on.

I'm not going to waste my time writing some big long speach, but these guys are (as already stated) the coolest down to earth people. They put on a great show and are all very musically talented. I guess you want him to wear a mask of bradley nowell? What exactly did bradley do that was so amazing live he didnt walk out in some kind of costume doing dance moves. he may have changed up the songs here and there as most people do with their own music. its not THEIR music to change so they sing and play it like it was produced. Their own band scotty dont is amazing. sounds to me like your all jealous of their success. insult me in any way you please i could care less just know that you are wrong.

I guess seeing a tribute band who are good at what they do is rather like seeing a biopic of a famous person, the closest thing to actually seeing/experiencing the real thing.

"I think it's pathetic that a trio of so-called performers can sell out a large club and not even break a sweat doing it." - Courtney B.

I think if they at least fulfilled the expectation of their audience, meaning their audience enjoyed their performance and evening, it's a success.

“these fans are not getting a total live music experience. However, because of their youth, they don't know what they're missing.” - Courtney B.

What defines the total live music experience beyond seeing & hearing a band live in front of an audience? The addition of jugglers and clowns?

Being in a tribute band is great training experience while making a living, maybe at some future time we’ll be talking about “Scotty Don’t”

What is pathetic is someone like Lilly Allen not having any respect, or indifference, for her audience to badly sleepwalk through a performance that should come back and bite her on the ass if future ticket sales.

Bill - “Lily was already a known commodity. She did her thing, drank her beers, smoked her smokes, and moved on.”
The last part should probably read, “She broke no sweat doing her thing, drank her beers, smoked her smokes and the audience moved on.

“Ars longa, spectatores fugaces (art is long lived, the audience transitory)
Ars longa, audientes leves (art is long lived, those listening are fickle)”
From: http://www.ubuprojex.net/faqs/arslonga.html

Nitpicking
“Badfish are capitalizing on all the high school and college kids with money to burn who never got to see the real Sublime live because singer Brad Nowell OD'd before the band broke mainstream.”
No, Brad Novell OD’d 13 years ago making impossible that they ever would seen the band live unless they were attending live performances between the ages 5 & 10.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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