By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After a few changes, the legendary Californian ska punk band Sublime, now called Sublime with Rome, returns to Rio on Sunday, November 25th for a night at the legendary Circo Voador venue in Lapa. The new version of the group is going strong with original band member Eric Wilson on the bass, drummer Josh Freese (The Vandals, Devo and A Perfect Circle) and Rome Ramirez on the guitar and vocals.
Rome Ramirez, a 22-year-old guitarist, is replacing the original vocalist of Sublime, Bradley Nowell, who died in 1996 from a heroin overdose.
Ramirez has a remarkably similar singing voice to Nowell, which won’t disappoint fans hoping to hear classics such as “What I Got”, “Santeria” and “Wrong Way” at the show.
The band’s new album is called “Yours Truly” and featured the group’s original drummer Bud Gaugh who left the tour to spend more time with his family, which brought Josh Freese into the group as a provisional replacement.
The new version of the band was signed by Fueled by Ramen, a record label that has released records by Jimmy Eat World and Less Than Jake.
Sublime with Rome performed in Rio last year before releasing their reboot album and American Expatriate living in Rio for several years, Alex Barwinski, thought the show was good despite the change of vocalist.
“It was a pretty good show, with good energy, good vibe,” Barwinski said. “I was surprised to see so many Brazilians knowing all the words or most of the words, it’s good to see that they know about the band [...] it might be because of the beach vibe here.”
According to Barwinski, Rome is a great guitarist and has a lot of energy on stage.
“[Rome] had a great voice, a great presence, he’s a happy go lucky guy. He was portraying [Bradley Nowell] well, had a lot of energy and everybody enjoyed it.”
Even though Barwinski was a little disheartened by the fact that the drummer was changed for the Latin American tour he still wants to see the band on stage. “Absolutely [looking forward to it]. At first I was a bit disturbed because it’s not the same band but I’m looking forward to it.”
The opening band The Dirty Heads, also from California, will kickstart the audience with a style of mixed reggae, ska punk and hip hop. They will be playing songs from their debut album, released in 2008, “Any Port in a Storm”, and their most recent studio album “Cabin by the Sea”, released earlier this year.
Of the many of Lapa musical institutions, Circo Voador (Flying Circus), celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. In 2012, the venue continues its tradition of attracting an eclectic mix of Brazilian and international artists.
Besides their Rio de Janeiro date, Sublime with Rome will also be performing on six other shows around Brazil; São Paulo, Vitória, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Florianópolis and Maringá. Tickets are R$240 each (R$120 student price) and are available on www.ingresso.com.
Location: Circo Voador, Rua dos Arcos, S/N, Lapa
Dates: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Time: Doors open at 10PM