The influential reggae/ska/alternative rock band Sublime suffered an early demise at the height of their popularity, when singer Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose in 1996.
Five years later, a group of computer science majors from the University of Rhode Island grabbed the torch and formed a Sublime tribute band, which has subsequently enjoyed nationwide success due to exhaustive touring. Badfish — named for one of the songs on Sublime’s best-selling album “40oz. to Freedom,” was nominated for Best Tribute Act in the Boston Music Awards in 2008. Their tour this summer will include a stop on Martha’s Vineyard as they bring their energetic thrash-inducing act to Nectar’s tonight, August 4.
Sublime was part of the Southern California punk and ska revival of the mid-90s. Popular songs include “Say it Ain’t So,” “Santeria,” and “What I Got.” Their music incorporated elements of thrash punk, ska, reggae and blues — often transitioning styles mid-song. The band gained a large cult following and is credited with being one of the first and most influential reggae fusion bands.
Badfish has gained a considerable following of their own. Their high energy performances are particularly popular among college kids who never had the opportunity to see the original band.
Badfish, 9 pm, Thursday, Aug. 4, Nectar’s, airport. 18+ show. $22; $17 in advance at nectarsmv.com.