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Best Rock & Roll Almost-Reunion Orange County 2010 - Sublime With Rome

In the 14 years since Sublime's lead singer/guitarist Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose, this iconic ska/punk band from Long Beach released one platinum-selling album, a disc of remixes and rarities, a box set and various greatest-hits compilations, plus spawned more tribute bands than the Doors. Despite what you might think, Sublime With Rome is no Wrong Way, 40 Oz. to Freedom or Badfish. There's the obvious fact that the semi-reunited trio's rhythm section consists of actual Sublime musicians Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson. And lead singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez has the perfect combination of natural talent and a love for Nowell's soulful lyrics and licks that you can close your eyes and, for a moment, actually believe Nowell is onstage. Sublime purists can hate all they want, but when the band played their sold-out July 31 show at the OC Fairgrounds, it was hard not to imagine Nowell would be smiling at the sight of his former band mates finally enjoying the global tour they never got to experience with him.

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