FlashFest fires up the big top

Joe Shearer

Annual event receives positive student response with Freak Show and O.A.R.

Lead singer Marc Roberge performs during the O.A.R. concert last night in the MAC Center. The sold-out concert was the final event of yesterday’s FlashFest.

Leslie Cusano | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

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The All Campus Programming Board’s 13th annual FlashFest took place without any bad luck yesterday.

Students enjoyed a day of music and events, beginning with a circus freak show and ending with a free performance by O.A.R.

Lucas Conrad, junior justice studies major, finished watching the local band 1959 and said he was pleased with this year’s event.

“I always come out and see what the events are,” Conrad said. “If I didn’t have a mandatory class, I’d be out here all day.”

Kristy Knight, junior health care administration major, agreed, except she took her love for this year’s line-up a bit further.

“I have perfect attendance in all of my classes,” Knight said shortly after seeing local band Tropidelic perform. “But it was worth it to miss class for FlashFest.”

For some students, the local acts were an essential element of the day’s festivities. Freshman education major Steve Robbins said he mainly came for the local music. He saw NJs and the Jeff during the Battle of the Bands and came out to see them again.

“I love NJs (and the Jeff),” Robbins said. “They’re all really good playing their instruments. They have a nice, original sound.”

Senior biology major Ben Martin also said he came out to support the local acts.

“Kent, to me, seems to have a good rock culture,” Martin said. “I like the local bands, (but) I wish the Kent State students would support the bands more.”

Martin added he likes the major acts ACPB has been bringing to campus lately, citing O.A.R. and Bob Saget’s appearance last week.

“I definitely think they’ve stepped up their game,” Martin said. “It seems like it’s gotten a lot better over the past year.”

For some students, ACPB’s move to bring O.A.R. was a great idea. As the band played their reggae-infused jam tunes to a sold-out crowd in the M.A.C. Center, students danced and sang along with the band.

Junior marketing major Melinda Wojno said she enjoyed the day’s festivities but was especially excited to see O.A.R.

“O.A.R. — seriously, my favorite band in the world,” Wojno said. “I think that the whole set-up this year was amazing.”

Brian Langemo, senior computer information systems major, also praised the band.

“I’m tired of (acts such as) Chingy,” Langemo said. “I’m appreciative of O.A.R. coming here. I’m really proud of it. They represent Ohio.”

Contact on-campus entertainment reporter Joe Shearer at [email protected].