In a vibrant celebration of music and unity, artists like Sublime, Fishbone, Mr. Bungle, Slayer, and more joined forces at The Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles for the Positive Mental Attitude benefit concert on December 11th. The evening took center stage in honoring Bad Brains‘ iconic frontman, Paul “HR” Hudson.
Paul “HR” Hudson, the legendary singer and frontman of Bad Brains, a source of inspiration for countless fans and musicians, battles the relentless impact of SUNCT—a rare condition inducing persistent stabbing headaches lasting for hours. Despite undergoing significant brain surgery to alleviate the pain, HR grapples with enduring discomfort and a formidable mound of medical bills resulting from various treatments? Monday night witnessed a powerful gathering of the music community at The Teragram Ballroom, featuring an extraordinary lineup including members of Sublime, Fishbone, Mr. Bungle, Slayer, Beastie Boys, (Hed) P.E., and more. Together, they united to honor and support HR in his healing journey. As the crowd gathered with an air of anticipation, the atmosphere was charged with positive energy, echoing the very ethos that HR and Bad Brains have brought to the punk and hardcore scene for decades.
The evening commenced with Norwood Fisher of Fishbone taking the stage flanked by producer Kentyah, delivering a compelling speech that delved into the profound influence of HR and Bad Brains on the evolution of the national punk rock and American reggae scene. Brad Nowell’s wife, and Jakob’s mom, Troy “Mama Troy” Dendekker, also shared insights into their significant contributions. The speeches were followed by a heartfelt video message from H.R., who couldn’t attend due to health reasons.
(Mama Troy Dendekker Brads wife and Jakobs mother watching from the balcony.)
Jah Faith and Jason Tamba graced the stage with a soulful rendition of the Wailers‘ “Rastaman Chant.” Following that, Fisher made a triumphant return with a full band featuring the legendary Santa Davis on drums, Money Mark on keys, Subatomic Sound System dubbing and vocals by Angelo Moore, Israel JosephI and Ras 1. Together, they paid heartfelt homage to H.R. and Bad Brains, serenading the audience with reggae tunes from the band’s rich catalog.
Next up punk drummer/guitarist, actor, and comedian Fred Armisen did a hilarious one-man show highlighting the history of punk drumming. Short but very sweet he left us all laughing and wanting more.
Returning to the stage Moore and Israel Joseph I along with legendary metal drummer Dave Lombardo, Norwood Fisher and Spacey T on guitar started what was billed as the Hardcore set. The energy in the room went crazy as they ripped through Bad Brains classics “Attitude,” “Banned in DC,” “Sailing on,” “Pay to Come” and more. The room went crazy as the pit grew, Angelo Moore stage dove and crowd surfed, as the entire room screamed along to the music. It was hard, fast, and loud from start to finish turning the entire room into a frenzy reminiscent of a 1985 punk show.
Eric Wilson, Bud Gaugh, and Jakob Nowell were next to hit the stage. The three were joined by longtime friends Trey Pangborn of The Falling Idols and DJ Product (Doug Boyce) of (Hed) P.E.. The short but ever-so-sweet set was met with a very thankful and excited crowd who sang along to every song. From the moment the band opened with “April 29th, 1992” the crowd went crazy.
(The rehearsal from the day before the show. Eric Wilson, Bud Gaugh, and Jakob Nowell joined by longtime friends Trey Pangborn of The Falling Idols and DJ Product (Doug Boyce) of (Hed) P.E.)
Jakob Nowell who is 28 (the same age as his dad Bradley when he passed away) ripped around the stage sounding so much like his father that you almost had to clear your eyes to make sure you were watching the younger Nowell. His stage presence, excitement, and talent give this writer great hope for the future of Sublime. He also seems to have a great respect for Wilson and Gaugh who affectionately refers to as “my uncles”. Gaugh seemed to be smiling the entire show as well and has not missed the proverbial beat. His drumming is legendary and by the look on his face, he was enjoying every minute of being back on stage. Wilson and his trademark hat never disappoints and grooved threw the set adding that iconic sound and look he is known for. He also supplied some hilarious moments on the mic and deserves a lot of credit as he is currently dealing with a shoulder injury that needs surgery. He is truly about the music and watching him, Gaugh, and Jakob on stage together made it feel like I was in the 90’s again watching Sublime.
(Michael “Miguel” Happoldt went into his storage and gave Jakob Nowell his fathers Amp for the show. Jakob also played his fathers guitar during the set.)
The three of them together on stage just felt right and everyone in the room knew it. Jakob is a natural on stage and it truly felt like Gaugh and Wilson got a part of their friend back that they lost decades earlier. A few of the comments off stage hinted at more in the future and when the younger Nowell proclaimed “We are Sublime”. Nothing on the band’s official site or socials mentions any more shows in the future but after seeing the buzz online today it’s apparent I wasn’t the only one feeling that Wilson, Gaugh, and Jakob Nowell should keep this going. In a world of negative comments and haters the internet for a day seemed to have joy and also hopeful optimism that this will continue. And to think they all came together to support someone who inspired them and raise money for a musical hero H.R. If that is the catalyst of a Sublime reunion with young Nowell filling out the vocals that would be one of the coolest things to happen in music in a long time in this writer’s humble opinion.
April 29th, 1992
Secret Tweaker Pad
What I Got
Same In The End
( Jakob Nowell, Eric Wilson, Bud Gaugh .. Sublime Rehearsals )