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Bop (harvey) Returns in RI

June 18, 2018

Wordsmith (photo by Dean Budnick)

As part of an ongoing 30th anniversary celebration of the Ocean Mist, Rhode Island’s venue on Matunuck Beach, as well as owner Kevin Finnegan’s 60th birthday, world beat collective BOP (harvey) reunited, performing their first RI dates in 24 years. The Michigan-based collective, which relocated to the Ocean State in the late 80s, winning WBRU’s fabled Rock Hunt in 1989, officially disbanded in 1994, with over 2,000 live performances to their credit including appearances at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In 2009, the group reassembled for a Michigan festival gig and has played a few high-profile dates in that state over the intervening years. However, until Friday night, BOP (harvey) had not returned to Rhode Island, where the band recorded its double live album, The Monster Butt Beat Dance Test at the Ocean Mist on August 17 and 18, 1993.

Saturday’s sold-out performance was a two-set affair that mixed fan-favorite originals such as “Vibe,” “Dubmaster,” “Bread & Circuses,” “Can’t Blame The Youth,” “Rings In My Head” and “Fun!” with signature covers including Bob Marley’s “Soul Shakedown Party” and Blood Sweat & Tears’ “Spinning Wheel.” The group encored with a loping cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Fire on The Mountain” which led into an extended version of the band’s own “Lazarus.” The septet then vowed to came back in another 24 years, although as the musicians stepped offstage, audience members appealed for an earlier return.

Danny St. Echo (photo by Dean Budnick)