Harlis Sweetwater is Feeling Sublime: SoCal blues-rocker Harlis Sweetwater told us about his Sublime experience.

Harlis Sweetwater: Through the years of have the good fortune of seeing some amazing bands, some in small venues with only 20 people or so there to see them just before they hit it big, I recall one drunken night in San Diego at a small venue. We got there early to grab some drinks before the band went on. As we drank our cocktails, the band was moving tables out of the way in order to set up their gear and PA. 

 A few people staggered inside of the restaurant bar and started ordering their drinks. I had been drinking all day so I was already deep into it but I remember the vibe of the room starting to become more electric and people started buzzing with excitement. Two of my friends and I had driven all the way to San Diego from Orange County just to meet up with a girl that I met a few weeks before at one of MY shows. 

Soon the band started tuning up their instruments checking the microphone etc. The singer/guitar player walked up to the bar next to me and gave me a what’s up nod and I gave him a nod back. I asked him, “What’s the name of your band, man?” He said, “Sublime.” I replied, “You cats from here in San Diego?” and he said, “No, Long Beach.” Suprised, I said, “Oh, right on! I’m from Huntington.”

He got his beers and went over to the staging area. Actually, there was no stage — they played right on the carpet. But soon about 20 people gathered right in front of them as they launched into their set. I remember people were really enthusiastic. They danced, yelled and sang along as I watched from my barstool. They were having a such great time. I remember thinking, “These dudes fuckin’ rock!”

 After a while, my friends and I stumbled out into the night leaving the girl behind. 

Concerts are concerts. But when you can catch a band like Sublime before they hit, and watch them play in a little corner of a restaurant bar and totally rock a small handful of people… well that’s just plain cool. It’s a totally different vibe and one that I prefer much more to big stadium shows.

Harlis Sweetwater is Feeling Sublime: Harlis Sweetwater’s “Mexican Rose” single is out now, as is the Diesel Dirt & Spit: Vol. 1 EP.

LA Weekly