NEPA Scene Staff

Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime and Elephants Dancing play live at Circle Drive-In in Dickson City on Oct. 4

Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime and Elephants Dancing play live at Circle Drive-In in Dickson City on Oct. 4
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From a press release:

The phenomenon known as Sublime, arguably the most energetic, original, and uniquely eclectic band to emerge from any scene, anywhere, ended with the untimely death of lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter Brad Nowell in May of 1996. But encompassing the sense of place and purpose long associated with Sublime’s music, Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime continues to channel the spirit of Sublime with a fury not felt for some time.

What separates Badfish from other tribute bands is that they have replicated Sublime’s essence, developing a scene and dedicated following most commonly reserved for label-driven, mainstream acts. Badfish make their mark on the audience by playing with the spirit of Sublime. They perform not as Sublime would have or did, but as Badfish does.

It was announced this week that the popular group is returning to Northeastern Pennsylvania for a live in-person show at the Circle Drive-In Theatre in Dickson City on Sunday, Oct. 4 with Wilkes-Barre ska/reggae group Elephants Dancing, presented by Stage West in Scranton and DamnMillennial Promotions.

Both bands have shared stages before, and Badfish was originally scheduled to perform at Stage West with Tropidelic on April 26 but that concert was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gates at the Circle Drive-In (1911 Scranton/Carbondale Hwy., Dickson City) open at 5 p.m., and the 18+ show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets, which are $99 per vehicle for general admission (up to four guests max) and $139 per vehicle for Gold Circle parking close to the stage (up to four guests max), are on sale now via Prekindle.

No campers, RVs, party buses, or motorcycles are admitted. Sealed water bottles are allowed. Food and beverages (alcohol included) will be available for purchase. Sitting outside your vehicle is permitted, but all attendees must arrive together and remain near their car. For more details, visit the Facebook event page.

The Circle Drive-In is following Department of Health recommendations and “adhering to safety protocols, mandatory face covering requirements, social distancing, and strict disinfecting and cleaning procedures.” Restrooms will be open with attendants on-site.

Anyone attending a drive-in movie or event must wear a face covering and practice social distancing. The concession stand will have limited selections and has put extra safety procedures in place.

Over the past 19 years, Pat Downes, Scott Begin, and Joel Hanks, collectively known as Badfish, have traversed borders, adopted friends, cruised highways, popped tires, loitered in parking lots, stormed clubs, blazed festivals, and raised the decibel level across their broad tour terrain. Their mission throughout their eminent career has remained the same – bring the awesome music and message of Sublime to their spirited fans, wherever they may be.

In paying tribute to one of the most galvanizing musical acts in history, Badfish try to revive the Sublime experience by keeping faithful to their down-to-earth, punk rock attitude. Eschewing wigs and gimmicks, Badfish’s philosophy is to deliver Sublime’s music faithfully, spread good vibes, and push the envelope of performance to create a concert experience that surges with energy and originality.

Formed at the University of Rhode Island in 2001, Badfish have gone from packing fraternity basements to selling out prominent venues across the country, including House of Blues clubs across the country, New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom, Town Ballroom in Buffalo, and Revolution in Fort Lauderdale. In the process of mastering their act and multiplying their fans, Badfish have passed many milestones, including the recording of three live albums, performing with musical heroes The Wailers, and sharing the stage with members of Sublime, including saxophonists Todd Foreman and Tim Wu and Sublime’s original drummer, Bud Gaugh.

While they’re proud of these achievements, their focus remains on their audience. Whether they’re playing a 50-person barroom or a raging three-day festival, Badfish strive to rock the house. No matter the size (or smell) of the venue, Badfish aim to throw a party at their shows that will bring together their eclectic listeners and conjure the thrill and the power of the music of Sublime.

Elephants Dancing is a seven-piece ska/reggae band from Wilkes-Barre driven by the chill beach vibe and powerful roots of reggae. The group delivers an island feel filled with heavy grooves, fun melodies, syncopation, and clever raps.

Elephants Dancing was created by singer/songwriters Michael Iorio (lead vocals/bass) and Danny Sales (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), who were childhood friends. After experiencing several lineup changes since the band’s inception in the summer of 2015, the full and unique sound that the band possesses is fulfilled through the versatility and spunk of its members: Ross LeSoine (tenor sax/percussion), Miles Fagley-Orfanella (trumpet/percussion), Karl Rucker (lead guitar), Samantha Carwell (keyboard), and Jerry Coyle (drums). The Elephants groove to roots reggae, island hip-hop, and beach rock, but the influences go much farther. Both writers are influenced by a wide variety of genres, including pop punk, metal, rap, math rock, and classical.

In the winter of 2016, the Elephants released their debut EP, “Clear Skies,” which paved the way for their creative growth. Soon after, in the spring of 2017, the 19-song full-length album “Rituals” was released, encapsulating many of the band’s influences and setting the tone for the road ahead. Over the summer of 2017, the band refaced itself and solidified its lineup, adding another guitar and two-man horn section featuring a tenor sax and trumpet/flugelhorn. As the summer of 2017 approached its end, the single “Sunshine” debuted, featuring the revamped lineup for the first time.

Amidst the growing process, Elephants Dancing was awarded Song of the Year at the 2016 Electric City Music Conference for “Panic Static” and was honored the following year with the 2017 Reggae/Jam/Funk Band of the Year award. To date, Elephants Dancing has performed on bills with acts such as Badfish, Ballyhoo!, Bumpin’ Uglies, Roots of Creation, Of Good Nature, and The Waffle Stompers.

The band channeled summer vacation vibes on their next full-length album, “Get Tropical,” in 2018 and most recently released the single “Tiki Time” on Aug. 7, 2020.