ShamrockFest: Sublime with Rome headlines annual St. Paddy's party

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Entertainment,Robert Fulton

When growing up in Northern California, if someone in high school didn't bother to wear green on St. Patrick's Day, Sublime with Rome lead singer Rome Ramirez said there was one of two things he and his friends would do.

Pinch the girls and punch the guys.

Sublime with Rome headlines this year's ShamrockFest at RFK Stadium on Saturday.

Ramirez said this is the first St. Patrick's-themed show he's done with the band.

If you go
ShamrockFest
The festival returns to RFK Stadium this Saturday and features more than 40 bands and DJs across nine stages. Headliners include Sublime with Rome, Carbon Leaf, Virginia Coalition and BT. In addition to the music acts, enjoy 15 party areas, complete with beer trucks, midway rides, food and drink, an Irish Village, party zone, strolling entertainers and more. General admission cost $29.99, VIP admission $84.99 (plus fees). Gates open at 12:30 p.m., entertainment begins at 1 p.m. Runs through 9 p.m. For more information, visit shamrockfest.com.

"It should be pretty cool," Ramirez said during a recent phone interview from his home in Orange County, Calif. "I'm excited about it."

Sublime came to national attention in the mid-1990s with a number of hits, including "Santeria, "Wrong Way" and "What I Got," but the untimely death of singer and guitarist Bradley Nowell brought the group to a halt.

In 2009, surviving members Eric Wilson (bass) and Bud Gaugh (drums) met Ramirez and invited him to fill the role of lead singer. Following some legal wrangling with the Nowell estate and Gaugh's departure from the band, Wilson and Ramirez continue on as Sublime with Rome, playing both the hits from the 1990s and some new tracks.

"He's actually a music genius, but not in your traditional type of way," Ramirez said of working with Wilson. "He'll sit there and tweak around with something for like an hour or two, and eventually something incredible will come out. He's just very passionate. It's really inspiring."

Ramirez and Wilson have a solid bond that's based on music.

"We both are just really passionate about music," Ramirez said. "That's all we really care about. That's what really brings us together. We can play music all day long for hours onstage. Every time the show's over, we just want to keep playing. We're most happy when we have our instruments in our hands."

Ramirez is working on his debut solo album, and Sublime with Rome hopes to get back into the studio by the end of the year. The group will head to Brazil following ShamrockFest.

Ramirez, 24, knows he's filled big shoes in performing songs created by the departed Nowell. He also relishes the opportunity.

"It's the coolest thing in the world," Ramirez said. "I grew up covering those songs at parties."

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