NEPA Scene Staff

Sublime tribute Badfish plays 4/20 show at Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg with Young Lion

Sublime tribute Badfish plays 4/20 show at Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg with Young Lion
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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.

After performing at the Circle Drive-In in Dickson City last year, the popular group is returning to Northeastern Pennsylvania to play at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg on Wednesday, April 20 as part of their 20 Year Anniversary Tour.

Stroudsburg’s own reggae band Young Lion will open this special 4/20 show. Doors at the Sherman (524 Main St., Stroudsburg) open at 7 p.m., and the all-ages concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets, which are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, are on sale at the Sherman Theater box office and online via and Etix. From now until Dec. 24, use promo code SUBLIME to get tickets for only $14.20.

Over the past two decades, 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.

Young Lion’s journey started in June of 2016. Wilkes-Barre-based reggae singer, songwriter, and guitarist George Wesley and his band – Chris Condel (drums) and Lion Sanford (bass/vocals) – were hired to perform at a private birthday party in Negril, Jamaica. Unfortunately, tragedy struck with devastating news – Wesley was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer and was too sick to join his bandmates on their upcoming gig. Already having all the arrangements set, the duo decided to make the journey to Negril with help from Sanford’s cousin, Leon Burke, a local Rastafarian musician who was able to piece together a group of players and singers to help fill Wesley’s shoes.

Vocalist/guitarist Jamie Zaleski of the Southside Bandits in Scranton was attending the party as a guest of the host, Dave. Dave suggested to him that he bring his guitar in hopes that he would sit in with the band. Coincidentally, Zaleski happened to get on the same flight and caught a ride from the airport into Negril with Condel and Sanford. During their first day on the island, the guys began to jam for a few of the villa’s employees and it was clear to everyone listening that the three of them had some real chemistry. They continued through the week, playing several shows together on the island.

After a week’s worth of music in beautiful Negril, Condel and Sanford returned to the states to find their friend’s battle with cancer was quickly becoming a losing one. Sadly, George Henry Wesley III passed away on July 19, 2016.

In December that same year, Wesley’s band decided to put on a tribute night for their fallen brother at the Sarah Street Grill in Stroudsburg. They gathered many friends and colleagues who had played with him throughout the years; Zaleski was also asked to perform and sing a few of Wesley’s tunes for the homage. It was during the rehearsals leading up to the event where it became undoubtedly clear that the chemistry they felt while performing in Jamaica was indeed real and growing more powerful each time they would play together. One night during dinner, the trio discussed the idea of keeping Wesley’s legacy alive, along with his message of spreading love through music. They continued to move forward with the memory of George in their minds and their hearts.

Throughout the next year, the new band began performing at music venues and bars in the region, creating traction in the Northeastern Pennsylvania music scene. During that time, they added Brian Green on guitar, a childhood friend and former bandmate of Zaleski. They also added Angelo Miraglia on keyboard, a former member of the George Wesley Band, to round out their sound.

Young Lion’s blend of roots, rock, and reggae is accomplished by the different playing styles and experience of its members. Their live performances include improvisation to provide listeners with a fresh experience every time people hear them perform.

Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene