Sterling Heights,Michigan(July 6, 2019)-A hot and sticky summer night at the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, turned into a cool Caribbean party with the mellow sounds of Sublime with Rome and the ska reggae band SOJA.
SOJA, hailing from Washington D.C., is exactly what you expect from a high-octane reggae band. The guitars and featured horn section create a mellow but sometimes rocking sound that their fans, both new and old seem to fully embrace. Lead singer Jacob Hemphill and bassist Bobby Lee Jefferson clearly have a long history together evident by their onstage interaction and shared vocals which works effortlessly to create the unique sound that SOJA is renown for.
Their hour-long set included high energy favorites “Sorry,’” “You Don’t Know Me,” “Your Song” and “Not Done Yet.” Even though Freedom Hill is rooted deeply in the suburbs of Detroit, the cool reggae rhythms provided by SOJA left you feeling that you where someplace tropical, sipping on rum-infused drinks and working on that killer tan.
When Sublime with Rome took the stage for their planned ninety minute set, they were met with a very enthusiastic crowd thanks to the killer set from SOJA. Sublime with Rome was ready for the challenge and came at their fans strong right from the start with their signature opener “Smoke Two Joints,” followed up by “Wrong Way” and “Date Rape”. Three high-energy classics from start set the tone of the night, which had the band dipping back into the archives for some early Sublime covers along with material from the Rome era. In reality, it is easy to forget just how large of a catalog this band has to pull from, but are also reminded of all the popular songs as each were queued, including “40oz to Freedom,” “Doin’ Time” and “Badfish”.
While most bands save their best for last, Sublime with Rome was no different. Ending the night with a powerful trio featuring “What I Got,” ”Wicked Heart” and Sublimes mega-hit “Santeria,” proved to be the perfect elixir to a night of hot music and a trip down memory lane.