There was something about reggae riffs and smoking weed that really appealed to yesterday's Fall Frenzy crowd. In between the harder rockin' lineups scheduled for Friday and Sunday was a hippie day. California bands The Dirty Heads, Sublime and Weezer had a lot to offer locals who enjoy good jams and free love.
Perhaps the Tempe crowd needed a day for hanging loose in between two days of face-melting madness. Kyle Joseph, a huge fan of the Dirty Heads, said that "marijuana, alcohol and music" are what appeal to the crowd that came out for the day of good vibes. "They're relaxing bands," Joseph said.
But without an ocean or any nearby surfing spots, Tempe doesn't resemble California whatsoever. The town particularly lacks the Cali music feel now that there's no more beach at Tempe Town Lake. Mike and Ariane Francis, who have been Dirty Heads fans for about a year, believe there's still a bit of seaside attraction.
"If the water [in Tempe Town Lake] didn't go away, it would be closer," Mike Francis said. "It's the closest we can get to a beach in Arizona."
That shoreline sound brought in Sublime fans a few hours early to see So Cal rockers The Dirty Heads, who kicked off their show with their bass-heavy "Hip Hop Misfits." They segued right into "Neighborhood" with a steady flow of reggae and rap that resembled 311, G. Love, and Pepper. Lead vocalist Jared Watson proved to have a secure command of the crowd and had plenty of people moving, especially during "Insomnia," when couples were swaying together. The show got a Beastie Boys feel with the fast-paced "Check the Level."
A significant letdown came when they played a cover of "Paint It Black" even though the audience had heard it when AM Taxi covered it just half an hour earlier. The Dirty Heads announced that they had made their set list before the show and didn't know that AM Taxi was going to play it, which was ironic because the two bands shared a dressing room. They encouraged the audience to stick it out and enjoy it anyhow.
Really, Dirty Heads? Out of all the songs you know how to play, including a cover of "Viva La Vida" that's on your album Any Port in a Storm, you couldn't make a last-minute adjustment to your set list? That's lazy and downright disappointing.
They rounded out their performance with conga drums on "Shine," which was a pleasant change of pace. The crowd warmed up to The Dirty Heads again when they played the laid back jam, "Believe," during which Watson included Tempe in his personalization of the song. The audience sang along with the band for "Stand Tall," and seemed to be content with the closer, "Lay Me Down." Maybe it was just the somewhat short length of their songs, or maybe the band actually rushed through their performance, but the set seemed to fly right by. However, it was a good taste for what was to come later in the day.
Hip Hop Misfits
Ring the Alarm
Check the Level
Paint it Black
We Will Rise
Lay Me Down
A Sublime cover band --err, I mean Sublime with Rome -- played a pretty tight set. Some people say that the new Sublime (with Rome) is just as good as Sublime as they once were. However, there's one huge difference that many people somehow either neglect or fail to acknowledge: Rome isn't Bradley Nowell. (Surprise!) While they do sound sort of similar, last night's show obviously didn't have that classic Nowell touch. What's left of the original band sounded great though.
Tons of people threw their hands up during "April 29, 1992" when Rome sang, "They said it was for the Mexican and not for the white man." When Rome told the crowd, "Let me see all the Sublime fans out here," everyone in the audience put their hands in the air. Fireworks went off while the band played "40 Oz. to Freedom," which put everyone in an even better mood.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The band brought out the Dirty Heads' manager to play the guitar during "What I Got" as an appreciative gesture for his love of music and for bringing him together with the Dirty Heads. During the song, Rome shouted, "Rest in peace, Bradley!" which gave the show a memorable touch.
Rome jokingly teased the audience with a few lines of Weezer's "In the Garage," then played their jam "Badfish," a song often covered by Jack Johnson, and transitioned into "Let's Go Get Stoned" for a solid finish.
Overall, Sublime put on a pretty decent show. Kudos to the saxophone player, who joined the Dirty Heads for a sax solo earlier in the day, for really adding flavor to both shows. And I'll admit that Rome is a decent replacement for Nowell at the very least.
Smoke Two Joints
5446 That's My Number/Ball and Chain
April 29, 1992 (Miami)
Scarlet Begonias (Grateful Dead cover)
Legalize It (Peter Tosh cover)
The Ballad of Johnny Butt
40 Oz. to Freedom
Naughty Girl (Pepper cover)
Under My Voodoo
What I Got
In the Garage (Weezer teaser)
Badfish > Let's Go Get Stoned