Fans of the iconic Philadelphia band G. Love & Special Sauce erupted with anticipation as they strolled down the stairs in the back of Blueberry Hill on the Delmar Loop, descending upon the renowned Duck Room in St. Louis. This legendary venue played host to the opening show of the band’s highly anticipated 30th anniversary tour of their self-titled debut album.
But that wasn’t the only reason the crowd was buzzing with excitement.
Joining G. Love as the opening act was Jakob’s Castle, a brand-new band led by Jakob Nowell, son of the late, great Sublime frontman, Bradley Nowell.
As the stage lights came up and the crowd roared, it was clear that this night was destined to be unforgettable. The Duck Room, known for its intimate setting and perfect for showcasing talent, was packed to the brim with fans eager to celebrate three decades of G. Love & Special Sauce’s unique blend of Delta blues, hip hop, soul and funk. However, before the main act took the stage, Jakob’s Castle quickly reminded everyone why they were asked (and why they deserved) to be on this historic tour. With a sound that paid homage to the legacy of Sublime — even covering a couple of the classics — while still exploring bold new musical frontiers, Jakob proved he can stand on his own with his impressive and electrifying drummer. It was an absolute blast getting to witness Jakob’s Castle take the stage and deliver a wildly entertaining, yet easygoing performance.
As the last notes of Jakob’s Castle faded away, the crowd’s eagerness was shaking the building.
Then, with thunderous applause, G. Love & Special Sauce emerged from the shadows, setting the Duck Room stage ablaze with their unique sound. This tour promised to be a momentous celebration of the band’s enduring artistry and G. Love delivered on that promise from the very first note. Throughout the night, the band skillfully weaved together beloved classics from their debut album, like “Cold Beverage” and “Baby’s Got Sauce”, with newer hits that exhibited their ongoing evolution as musicians, while also taking the opportunity to pay homage to a very influential genre. Hip hop is celebrating 50 years of success and, by covering some of the genre’s iconic songs that have shaped its rich history, G. Love put on an expert-level show, displaying deep appreciation for an art form that has inspired and influenced so many musical journeys.
As the show drew to a close, it became clear that G. Love & Special Sauce’s 30th anniversary tour had started with a bang. The Duck Room had witnessed a night of pure musical magic, where two legendary families — the Nowells and the G. Love family — came together to create unforgettable experiences. With this triumphant kickoff, fans around the country eagerly await the arrival of the 30th anniversary tour in their respective cities, knowing that G. Love & Special Sauce will continue to captivate audiences and leave them hungry for more.
G. Love & Special Sauce’s legendary self-titled debut album has been remastered with new songs for its 30th anniversary and is available on all streaming and digital music partners today, along with “Cold Beverage – Live at the Knitting Factory, NYC, NY – 7/20/1994”, an unreleased live version of the classic album’s breakout track!
Photography by Thomas Semonco