Concert Review: Perro Bravo w/ LAW

Jakob Nowell and LAW at Muir Fest. Perro Bravo is watching and listening in the background.

Jakob Nowell and LAW at Muir Fest. Perro Bravo is watching and listening in the background.

By: Juan Barragan
Perro Bravo w/ guest LAW
Ocean Beach Muir Fest 2013
July 27 2013

It was Ocean Beach’s 6th annual Muir Fest taking place on Muir Avenue. The theme of the block party was live music. Many artists performed that day, including local acts and some not-so-local acts. One of the not-so-local acts that took the main stage was Perro Bravo. The band is from Long Beach County, and their front man, although unfamiliar to many, has quite an extensive history behind some of the nation’s most influential reggae bands that flourished during the 90’s. His name is Michael or “Miguel” Happoldt, and he co-founded Skunk Records, which was Sublime’s record label. He was Sublime’s manager and producer, and after Sublime’s abrupt end, was part of Long Beach Dub Allstars. Now he is dedicating his time to doing some small shows with his band, Perro Bravo. The band’s shows are typically attended by those who know the history behind Sublime. This is why an aura of nostalgia set the tone as the man who produced Sublime’s 40oz. to Freedom delighted the crowd with a unique sound check by playing Jimi Hendrix’s, The Wind Cries Mary.

Perro Bravo played some original material coupled with a Sublime song, Chica Me Tipo. Halfway through the set, Happoldt gave a new band he took under his wing the opportunity to play some songs for the crowd. This band is from Long Beach, and they go by the name, LAW. Their front man is Jakob Nowell, son of the legend and the late Sublime front man, Bradley Nowell. The crowd erupted in applause, eager to see LAW take the stage. LAW, much like Sublime, is a three man band, and much like Sublime’s origin, is currently writing a lot of material in the punk genre. LAW threw in a cover by Queens of the Stone Age, Go with the Flow that was well received by the audience. LAW has only recently started playing live shows, and debuted in June of this year to a sold-out show in their hometown at a local bar.

Perro Bravo gave LAW the opportunity to play five songs, and that was enough to get the crowd wanting more when their set was over. When Perro Bravo took the stage once again, Happoldt says, “I just thought that might be something you guys might be interested in. Were you guys interested in that?” The crowd roared a yes of approval, and Perro Bravo went on to finish what they had started. They continued to play original songs, many with catchy guitar solos performed by Happoldt, overall maintaining that Long Beach feeling. The only identifiable song was Livin’ in Time, which turned out to be a fast punk song.

The best way to describe a show by Perro Bravo is to think of Sublime’s material, and hear the resemblance that Perro Bravo’s songs have. It is clearly evident in the entire band’s material, whether it is songs with movie clips or the beach-style feeling the songs have. Even the band’s lineup consists of only three people. This satiates the somewhat older crowd who has wanted to hear once again this style of music. Luckily for them, the band delivers that sound in an original and innovative manner, since Happoldt himself took part many years ago in producing Sublime’s treasured signature sound. One cannot simply ignore the connection that Perro Bravo has with Sublime. There are few people that can so effortlessly re-create that symbolic sound and Happoldt with Perro Bravo are truly the perfect combination to make it happen.

Perro Bravo has not released any official material in neither album nor EP form and it is unknown if they will ever do so. However, you can catch this band live at the House of Blues this coming August 24th as they play with Unwritten Law, Strung Out, and Sprung Monkey.