Making their fourth Ocean Key Resort Sunset Pier appearance, Badfish will once again play for a maxed out crowd on the dock in this year’s free concert. Heralded as one of the country’s best tribute bands, Badfish, a Tribute to Sublime, has become an annual tradition at the resort.
“Since 2010, Badfish has always found time to include Key West in their busy touring schedule,” said Rodger Levering, director of food and beverage at Ocean Key Resort, and who helped create the ultra-chic local’s only VIP section in front of the stage for this year. “We are just trying to host a great free concert for the community and we hope everyone has a super time at the Sunset Pier.”
Last time Badfish Drummer Scott Begin was in Key West, he was rocking crutches behind the drum set, and is looking forward to the Duval Crawl after the concert Tuesday night. “We typically don’t get a lot of time when we are down in the Keys playing,” he said in a recent phone interview. “But, in the little time we do get, we make the most of it.”
The band started playing the West Coast covers 15 years ago while at the University of Rhode Island on the East Coast. “Sublime was the quintessential band we listened to growing up,” said Begin. “Their album ‘Sublime’ served as a sound track for our high school and college years.”
The covers started as fun, but escalated quickly from packing fraternity basements to selling out venues in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Fort Lauderdale. They’ve even been able to play with Sublime’s drummer Bud Gaugh, who has opened for them in the past. Sublime was a ’90s band, whose front man died of a heroin overdose right before the third self-titled album dropped, and have favorite ska/reggae infused hits like “Santeria,” “Wrong Way,” “What I Got,” and Begin’s right-now fave “Seed.” “My favorites change from week-to-week,” he said. “But, right now, this one is keeping me on my toes as a drummer.”
Badfish stays pretty loyal and faithful to their Sublime roots, but are able to add a little bit of their own personal touch if the occasion calls for it. They have also released some of their own music over the years, but will be playing the all-Sublime set for an hour and 45 minutes starting Tuesday, March 8 at 8:30 p.m. Opening for Badfish on the main stage will be local favorite Patrick and Swayzees at 7 p.m. and the side stage will be rocking Happy Dog at 1 p.m. and Hot Beer at 5 p.m.
LOCAL’S ONLY VIP SECTION
The Badfish concert will host a “Local’s Only” VIP section in front of the stage with private cash bars. Mote Marine will have a check-in table set up at 4 p.m. Each person must present some form of local I.D. to receive a wristband. There will be a capacity, so check-in early. Keys residents only, guests cannot bring out-of-Monroe County friends. VIP is 21 and older only, the rest of pier is open to everyone.