Bumpin' Uglies - This is one of those Fillmore shows that I like as they mix some local bands with the touring headliners. And since Annapolis's Bumpin' Uglies spend a bit of time as a touring headliner themselves, this show gets off to a fast start. They do the heavy reggae-rock-ska sound with a leaning toward the rhythm. I liked their slightly heavier sound in a song late on, as that gave a nice jolt of energy and variety. Some of this is 'same old' but the energy is good and they whipped the crowd into shape, so it was a fun beginning. And as they had so much adrenaline going, they whipped through their set so quickly, the guitarist did a solo song for a couple minutes at the end.
Dale and the ZDubs - It has been a while since I last saw this Silver Spring dub-rock outfit, but it was probably wise to do so as their growth is all the more evident. They have taken the basic reggae-rock approach and added more sophisticated rock sounds and style into their songs. The energy and rhythms are still there, but it seemed to take the audience a couple of songs to find the groove. In fact, this was one of the rare occasions that the rear of the crowded room was dancing more than the people packed up front, as the older people in the room connected more quickly. But the kids dug this, too as the six-piece band with plenty of guitar, sax, and keyboards locked in and kept the music flowing. I hope they continue channeling sounds and styles from early rock'n'roll through the various world beats they know well. That will keep them a dance step ahead of a crowded field.
Ballyhoo! - And the third Maryland band in a row also works the rock reggae terrain. I stayed for only a portion of the set, but these guys had the chops and occasionally the song writing stood out. I actually preferred their straight rock blasts a bit more than the quieter reggae portions as they seemed to connect in a more interesting and audacious manner. But they were firing on all cylinders and the crowd was fully engaged from what I could see.
Badfish, A Tribute to Sublime - I didn't stick around due more to my back issues as opposed to seeing a tribute band (I enjoy tribute bands now and then). But I was happy to see the three original bands tonight as the sound was strong, energy big, and songs that were worth listening to as they occasionally moved beyond the simple adrenaline rush.