OGP at Finlandia

Photo courtesy of Orange Guava Passion

Concert review by Katherine Beggs

Last Friday night, I joined the bustling crowds of Brown students lined up at the doors of a medium-sized house on Waterman Street, eagerly waiting to go inside. Like them, I was here to see Orange Guava Passion (OGP), a popular freshman band, known for playing music self-described as “Neo-soul/funk/pop.”  They rose to popularity last year when they first performed at Brown’s “Gigs on the Grass” and have been going strong ever since. Inside the house, the band was situated in a relatively small, fairy-lit room, on a slightly elevated stage. This was their second time playing at Finlandia or “Findy,” a Brown co-op house known for hosting concerts by local bands. Last week, OGP played a joint show with the band Fizzle. This past Friday, they were joined by Quirksand as part the “Legends of the Jungle” event hosted by Brown Student Radio. When I asked the band how performing at Findy was in comparison to their past venues, they said, “It is stickier, sweatier, but super high energy! All around it was a lot of fun!” This is a pretty accurate description of most Findy concerts, where people tightly squeeze into the room in order to get close to the performers.  

At midnight, the band opened with one of their originals “Own It,” which definitely got the crowd going. From there, they played a mix of originals and covers. Originals included songs like “Slowly,” “Trader Joe's,” and the aforementioned “Own It.” When I observed the crowd as the band played their originals, I noticed many people singing along to the lyrics. This goes to show how OGP’s originals are not only musically sophisticated, but also catchy and just overall fun to sing along to. When asked about their favorite original, the band responded by saying, “We pretty much all agree it’s been ‘Slowly.’ It has a nice build to it that really seems to hype the crowd up, and it ends with an a cappella section that everyone’s been singing along with.”

In addition to their awesome original music, OGP played covers like “Loving is Easy” by Rex Orange County, “P.Y.T.” by Michael Jackson, and “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. As for their favorite cover they perform, OGP says, “Our favorite is probably ‘I Want It That Way.’ It was a fun song that allowed us to put our own spin on it.” This was definitely my favorite cover of the night as well. It is a faster, more funkier version of the song, and I personally love the horn and saxophone parts that echoed the melody of the chorus. This song in particular also really hyped up the audience— almost everyone was either dancing or jumping up and down by the end of it. When choosing their covers, OGP says, “We always try and find an intersection between songs we love and songs we know the crowd will love. There are some songs people always sing along to like ‘I Want It That Way,’ which is always fun to play.”  They definitely achieved this goal at Findy.

For people looking for groovy tunes and a good time, this concert was definitely the place to be. If you missed it, don’t worry because OGP has a lot of exciting things coming up. Discussing their future endeavors OGP says, “We’re planning on playing a lot of shows this semester, so be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram for updates! We’re also very close to releasing some of our songs on Spotify and iTunes, which is an exciting process for us and we think our fans will like the result.”