Monday, August 11, 2003

311, O.A.R. deliver heartland reggae

Concert reviews

By Chris Varias
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Straight from the Jamaican-music hotbeds of Omaha, Neb., and Columbus came Riverbend's Saturday lineup featuring 311 and O.A.R., each of whom had the crowd moving to its take on reggae.

Columbus' O.A.R. has enjoyed a solid regional fan base for the last few years. The band went on second, following a set of pop-punk turned in by Something Corporate.

Audience reaction to O.A.R. was so glowing that it seemed 311 would have trouble winning the crowd away from its home-state favorites.

But the Nebraskans took to the stage with extreme force, and from the first song to the last the energy level of their performance was a few notches higher than what immediately preceded them.

311 is simply the louder, faster, harder band. The group blends reggae rhythms and dancehall rapping into a mix of hip-hop and Red Hot Chili Peppers-style funk and thrash, whereas O.A.R. peppers its folk-rock and jam sound with a bit of reggae upbeat and the occasional fake Jamaican singing accent.

For an hour and 45 minutes, 311 vocalists Nick Hexum and S.A. Martinez maintained a constant flow of toasting, rapping and singing. At the same time the pair bounced all over the stage, spurring the crowd to hop and dance along for most of the show.

Meanwhile, guitarist Tim Mahoney, bassist P-Nut and drummer Chad Sexton propelled the bouncy rhythms, with occasional assistance from Hexum on guitar and Martinez on turntables.

Favorites like "Down" and "Feels So Good" embodied the fast tempo and funkiness of most of the show, so much so that anything at all different - like the straight-rock new one "Still Dreaming" and the slow new one "Beyond the Gray Sky" - made itself noticed.

The day O.A.R. headlines Riverbend probably isn't that far away. It appeared as if each person knew every song, if not every lyric.

The five-man band, joined by guest keyboardist Gabe Dixon, eased through 70 minutes of cheery reggae rock. The performance peaked with a rendition of the Of A Revolution signature tune "That Was a Crazy Game of Poker."



Exhausted filmmakers wind up 48-hour shoot
Who'll marry this dad?
Vote in our 'Marry My Dad' poll
Parents can aid kids' schedule adjustment
Kids may ask about Kobe
Cancer claims Gregory Hines at 57
Bats Incredible! Home Page
Get to it!

Parents can see grades online
Switch option appreciated
Parents can aid kids' schedule adjustment
Guide to Tristate public schools (PDF, 1mb)

Stars display dazzling feats
G. Love shows special flair
311, O.A.R. deliver heartland reggae
Hip-hop enthusiasts summit at Scribble Jam
3 Doors Down's not fancy, they just rock
'S.W.A.T.' dominates competition

Bumper crop of Cornhole grows in Tristate
Fit bits: Ways to stay active and healthy
Increased muscle mass will help burn fat

Checking in with the 25 forces shaping our culture
Museum opens with a bang
Economy still putting the squeeze on
Arts heart of plan to give city shot in the arm
City gets some good press, for a change
Downtown isn't the only show - Newport and Dayton make strides
Move is on to get people interested and involved

Despite economy, opera enjoyed successful year
Opera-goers voice opinions about Muni, selections, performers
'Harry Potter' illustrator also designed opera artwork