By John Harper/Correspondent
Monday, July 19
High and Mighty Tour
Let the music play.
The first major concert on the Outer Banks in 2021 takes place Monday, July 19, at Roanoke Island Festival Park.
And it promises to be a rager, with a triple bill of Sublime with Rome, The Dirty Heads and Hirie.
The story of Sublime reads like a script from “Behind the Music,” the old MTV series set to be revived this summer by Paramount+.
The Long Beach, California-based band formed in 1988 and recorded a string of reggae-meets-ska-meets-punk-meets-rock-meets-hip-hop-meets-funk party jams. If you ever set foot in a club or a fraternity house in the early-to-mid-’90s, you probably grooved to tunes such as “What I Got,” “Santeria,” “Doin’ Time” and “Wrong Way.”
But just as the group was hitting its stride, which included heavy radio airplay, lead singer Bradley Nowell died in 1996.
Sublime disbanded but was later reinvented when singer-guitarist Roman Ramirez, along with original bassist Eric Wilson, started performing the band’s classic hits.
“I like to think I am the vessel that was chosen to deliver it (the music and spirit) to the world via live shows,” Ramirez, 33, said in an email interview. “It’s an incredibly humbling experience.”
A legal agreement brought on by Nowell’s family requires the band be billed as “Sublime with Rome,” which includes drummer Carlos Verdugo.
But the songs remain the same, and the spirit and artistry of the original band lives on. “The band just has a cool and timeless vibe to it,” Ramirez continued.
The current trio also has released several fine tunes, which include “Wicked Heart,” “Light On” and “Wherever You Go.”
“Our sound is definitely a fusion of what inspires the boys and what inspires me,” Ramirez said.
And what’s a Sublime with Rome show like these days?
“Loud music, heavy bass and the sun shining,” the singer-songwriter said.
Huntington Beach, California-based Dirty Heads also make music that merges reggae, ska, hip-hop and rock. “Lay Me Down” is the group’s signature song, which, incidentally, features Ramirez on vocals. Other hits include “My Sweet Summer,” “Dance All Night” and “Vacation.”
Hirie is a silky-voiced singer who traffics in original music that taps reggae and rhythm-and-blues.
Time: 6 p.m., with gates opening at 5 p.m.
Cost: $45 in advance, $55 at the door
Where: Roanoke Island Festival Park, 1 Festival Park, Manteo
Info: Vusic Fest on Facebook
It’s lawn seating, so bring a blanket or low-back chair. Outside food and beverages are not allowed. You also may want to bring bug spray.