Sublime: 3 Ring Circus (Live At the Palace)
3 Ring Circus (Live At the Palace) from Sublime was recorded at the Palace in Hollywood on October 21st, 1995. This album is the first official recorded concert of Sublime, occurring a mere seven months before the tragic death of lead singer Bradley Nowell. Now the reformed Sublime has a new lead singer, but fans will enjoy this gem from the heyday of the original band.
Running almost 80 minutes, these 27 songs include fan favorites like “Don’t Push,” “Garden Grove,” “Saw Red,” “Badfish,” “Caress Me Down,” “40 Oz. to Freedom,” “Date Rape” and “Smoke Two Joints.” Nowell lets the crowd sing certain parts of the songs, while we hear some banter between Nowell and his fans. Due to Nowell’s untimely death, it’s bittersweet to hear him sing lines like “ain’t got no time to grow old” (“Badfish”) and “one day I’m gonna lose the war” (“Pool Shark”).
Although this album may be less polished than Sublime’s other notable live album, Stand by Your Van, it’s these somewhat messy moments on stage, which fans should savor. This album is far from perfect, and fans may still prefer the studio versions, but it’s the intimacy and idiosyncrasies of the performance that make it that much more special.