From left, Carlos Verdugo, Eric Wilson and Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome play live in October at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. (Courtesy Daniel Prakopcyk)

From left, Carlos Verdugo, Eric Wilson and Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome play live in October at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. (Courtesy Daniel Prakopcyk)

Sublime With Rome to play live fairgrounds concerts in fall

Singer Rome Ramirez returns home for East Bay show

After sheltering in place for the past five months, Rome Ramirez says he missed bonding with his bandmates more than ever. So the Sublime With Rome frontman and Fremont native was thrilled to take the stage with his group at a recent “Concerts In Your Car” event at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

“They are like my family,” says Ramirez. “We saw so much of each other, so it felt really strange when all of a sudden it was cut off. But at the same time, it definitely makes an event like the drive-in experience, where you’re able to get back together again with your unit—your brothers—and jam that much more beautiful and fun.”

The singer-guitarist is excited to keep the momentum going and appear with his Sublime spin-off band for two nights at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton; the shows, originally scheduled for Aug. 21-22, have been postponed until Oct. 2-3 as a precaution due to fire danger.

Since a successful live music show is predicated on a strong connection between the artist and audience, Ramirez admits to being initially worried that his SoCal ska-punk group couldn’t achieve the same level of interplay with fans at a drive-in concert as at a standard show.

“There’s something about that certain synergy that can happen when you’re live, in the same element and room with the musicians who create the music,” he says. “Otherwise, you could just watch them on YouTube.”

So Ramirez is ecstatic that “Concerts In Your Car” promoters have devised a setup—with attendees’ vehicles parked in circles around a four-sided stage—that promises every audience member their fair share of face time with the band. Supplemental video screens and in-car audio (via FM radio) have been added to enhance the “up-close-and-personal” experience.

Ramirez adds that attendees are permitted to exit their vehicles to enjoy the show from the comfort of their lawn chairs or to dance, but they must wear masks and stay a safe distance away from other groups, within the confines of their designated parking spots.

“But I think these drive-in shows are actually more unifying because people have gone so long without live music and, in some instances, they hadn’t been around as many people as well,” says Ramirez. “To be in a live environment again, it’s like a new experience.”

It was in 2009—13 years after original Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell was found dead of a heroin overdose at The City’s Oceanview Motel (now SeaScape Inn)—that Ramirez first performed the group’s hits like “What I Got,” “Santeria” and “Wrong Way” live with existing Sublime members, bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh.

Changing their name to Sublime With Rome after a legal battle with Nowell’s estate, the trio would lose Gaugh and then his replacement Josh Freese before settling on drummer Carlos Verdugo. Over the past decade, Sublime With Rome has released three albums, most recently 2019’s “Blessings.”

Ramirez says he’s excited to get back into the studio with Wilson and Verdugo in the near future to nail down tracks for an upcoming Sublime With Rome album. But until that time comes, he’s looking forward to playing more shows and connecting with fans, especially those at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, many of whom will be coming out from his hometown, Fremont.

“This is really crazy, ‘cause this is the closest I’ve played to the house I grew up in, like my neighborhood with all my friends,” says Ramirez. “I’m going to have a lot of friends and family there. Hopefully, we can repeat the same sort of magic [from Ventura] at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.”

IF YOU GO

Sublime With Rome

Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton

When: Oct. 2-3 (rescheduled from Aug. 21- 22)

Tickets: $300 per vehicle

Contact: alamedacountyfair.com/sublime-rome-acf/

Note: For questions about rescheduled dates, contact driveins@vitalmanagement.com

Pop Music

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Parents and students line up socially distanced before the first day of in-person learning at Bret Harte Elementary School on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
‘It’s a beautiful sight’: The first students return to the classroom

San Francisco’s youngest public school students stepped into classrooms for in-person learning… Continue reading

Most Read