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Rock-reggae band jams at StadiUm Bar

By Claire Krieger
On October 9, 2012

Saturday night, Stadium Bar & Grille was temporarily turned into an aural tropical paradise of sorts. The weather outside was pretty darn cold, but the atmosphere inside of Stadium was warm and relaxed. A performance from the self-classified rock-reggae band The Ohms was the reason for this atmospheric shift.

The Cincinnati-based three-piece played a marathon of a set Saturday night 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. The set list included many of the band's original songs and some covers including Bob Marley's "One Love" with an alt-rock twist and 311's "Amber." The crowd was comprised of some Miami students, some of the band's out-of-town fan base, and some people who seemingly just happened to be there.

Upon simply looking at the members of The Ohms, their appearance does not intimate that their sound would be so heavily reggae-based. While there is not a single dread lock in the band, the members do have lots of piercings and black clothing. This misconception is easily fixed once the band begins to play.

The genre rock-reggae is a very fitting description of what listeners are treated to. The vocals and drumbeats are those that reggae and non-reggae listeners alike tend to associate with the genre. However, the guitar in the songs sometimes tends to have a reggae feeling and at others seems much closer to the alt-rock genre, but fits with the rest of the song elements all the same.

Along with this infusion of musical genres, the band also mixes some jam sessions into their set throughout some of the songs. When asked what type of music fans tend to like The Ohms' music, they cited bands such as Sublime and the Dirty Heads as having comparable sounds, but explained that many listeners who are not typically reggae fans tend to like their music.

While many bands try to boast intricate and meaningful stories about what their names mean, the members of the band plainly explained that they saw the word "Ohm" on a speaker at practice one day and the name has been with the ever since. The band consists of Dave Danforth (lead vocals and guitar), Psycho D (bass and vocals), and Chet Johnson (drums). These three members have been playing shows together for five years, but each member has been playing shows on his own for much longer than that.

This is not the first time the band has played at Stadium or in the Oxford area, nor will it be the last-it will play Stadium again Nov. 16. In previous years it has played sets at the Redbrick Rasta music festival Uptown Oxford.

The Ohms have also pioneered their own music festival called Ohmstead, which takes place at Hannon's Camp America, just outside of Oxford. Danforth explained that along with the "music lovers" and good crowd response they experience in Oxford; bagels from Bagel & Deli are another reason he likes playing Oxford.

"We had a blast," Psycho D said. "It was super fun! We can't wait to come back in November and do it again."

The band recently released its full-length album "Press On, " which can be downloaded at the website More information can be found at the website and on their Facebook page by searching for "The Ohms."

Along with The Ohms, Stadium plans on delivering a full bill with a range of musicians to Miami students this semester. While a full list of acts can be found on the bar's facebook page, there are many acts that owner Trevor Helwig is excited about bringing to Oxford. One of these is EOP on Oct. 26, which features a member of OAR who will be performing at Millett Hall the following night.

Stadium will also continue its tradition of hosting Delta Sigma Pi's annual Battle of the Bands competition the weekends of Oct. 18 and 25 and Nov. 1 and wants to feature student bands outside of this contest. Thursday nights are typically billed for student bands and those interested in playing Stadim should contact the bar.

Helwig is enthusiastic about bringing this music to Oxford because of his personal passion for live music and because of Stadium's 20-year history of supporting music in its purest form. Stadium aims to make this music accessible to everyone by typically only charging a cover of $3 for concertgoers under 21 and $5 for those over 21. Helwig and his wife are both Miami alums and large portion of Stadium's staff include current and previous Miami students.

"Everybody is welcome here," Helwig said. "We are all tied to Miami University. We like to provide a diverse environment where people can come in and have a good time."

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