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Local Sublime fans to get a taste of Badfish

Some of the most recognizable music from the 90’s will be pouring from the speakers at the Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton tomorrow night. Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime, has been attracting diverse audiences since their formation in 2001 with their unmistakable covers; 20 and 30-somethings with their eyes closed, taking in the verses they’ve known by heart since childhood, and the younger crowd who have fallen in love with Sublime’s music via YouTube and Pandora.

Badfish, named for one of the tracks on Sublime’s 1992 record “40 oz. to Freedom,” started out as a group of computer science majors from the University of Rhode Island playing in local clubs, bringing back to the stage the blend of ska, punk, reggae and hip hop that made Sublime one of the most successful alternative rock acts of all time. Sublime disbanded after the death of lead singer Bradley Nowell in 1996, but for the past eight years Badfish has kept their sound alive onstage.

After gaining notoriety on college campuses, Badfish has done numerous national tours, capitalizing on a success that Sublime never saw as a band. Their major label debut was released two months after Nowell’s death, propelling their Long Beach harmonies to a worldwide audience. The self-titled album has gone platinum five times, making it no surprise that Badfish has gained quite a following. Tomorrow night, the Pearl Street crowd can expect to hear fan favorites like “What I Got,” “Santeria,” “Rivers of Babylon,” and “Wrong Way.”

After touring as a cover band for about five years, the guys decided to start playing two sets per show; one as Badfish, and one highlighting the four-piece’s original talent. Scotty Don’t is comprised of all the members of Badfish, and has been receiving an immense response from audiences across the U.S. After releasing a self-titled EP in 2006, Scotty Don’t released “Songs from the Back Porch,” produced by Paul Leary, Sublime producer and guitarist for the band Butthole Surfers.

Also on the bill is some fresh local flavor hand picked from the Pioneer Valley. Danny Pease and the Regulators is a seven-piece band from Hadley that describes itself as “dirty punk reggae.” The band’s musical influences range from Rancid to Bob Dylan, Bad Religion to Toots and the Maytals. They started out in 2005, jamming in a basement, moved on to clubs and house parties and are now flourishing in the local scene.

Lastly, UMass’ own Orange Television is coming out for their largest show to date. This jam band-style threesome has accelerated at a surprising rate, having just formed in February 2009.

Opening for Badfish will likely be a jumping off point for these funky up-and-comers, who already have a fan base both in the UMass community and in the alternative music scene in the Valley. They released a five-song demo in September entitled “One Old Fashioned Doughnut,” and with their dedication and quick success, this is sure to not be the last that Western Mass. hears of Orange Television.

It all adds up to a must-see show, with great tunes from local musicians and the veteran rockers of Badfish and Scotty Don’t. The show is expected to fill up fast, so get there early and bring your dancing shoes.

Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime, Scotty Don’t, Danny Pease and the Regulators, and Orange Television will be performing at Pearl Street Ballroom Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance or $19 at the door.

Emily Jenkins can be reached at ejenkins@student.umass.edu.

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