Last Night: Fourth Dimension at the Original Fat Cats

Categories: Concert Review

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Fourth Dimension and Babylon Fall Sound System
Wednesday, July 23
Original Fat Cats

Better than: Watching Passa Passa videos at home.

Early this morning, the streets of Fort Lauderdale were alive with the sweet sounds of reggae. South Florida's hardest working reggae band, Fourth Dimension was at it again at one of their many weekly residencies and creating strong vibes as usual. If you haven't seen them before, the talented foursome puts on a solid reggae show every time they touch the stage and this morning was no different.

Of course, like most reggae shows, the grooves don't start until after the clock strikes midnight but Jr. Lee and his partner, Original Dub Master, of Babylon Fall Sound System provided a solid warm up. Switching from Steel Pulse to Max Romeo--and then hitting all of the major B's (Bob, Beres, Barrington, Buju, and Burning Spear) folks on hand at Fat Cat's were jamming and dancing with each tune the selectors dialed up. Everybody seemed to have a drink in their hands and a smile on their faces so Babylon Fall Sound System, which is based out of Miami Beach, were definitely doing their jobs.

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Jr Lee at work.

When Fourth Dimension took the stage and started playing, the energy inside of Fat Cat's picked up even more. Drummer, Joe "Grind" Fagan was keeping the groove steady and their lead singer/bassist, Jah Steve was playing tighter than ever. It's rare to see a band with a bassist as a lead singer these days but Fourth Dimension pulls it off well. They always keep a steady balance of pre-recorded standards mixed with their original material and manage to shun being labeled a cover band in the process

So as the group dove deeper into the pocket this morning and the rains poured throughout the streets of Fort Lauderdale, it seemed like everyone around was ducking into Fat Cats, drawn both by shelter and the irie vibes. In my opinion, the band was at their best once they jumped into their new hit, "What a Situation." It's a hardcore rocker with ringing church bells, thick basslines, and a positive message that probably got overshadowed inside of a smoky bar, but if you listen to their new CD, Invazion, the lyrics come through much more clearly.

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Other crowd favorites from the show included, "Dis Ya Music," "Frequency," and my personal favorite, "Showdown" which manages to namedrop John Wayne. Any reggae band that can bring up The Duke and still sound cool is fine with me.

Critics Notebook:

Personal Bias: Reggae in the rain always sounds sweeter for some reason.

Random Detail: I can't remember the tune, but they definitely worked in a skanked out Black Sabbath cover which is pretty badass considering how different the genres are.

By the Way: Fourth Dimension plays on Tuesday, July, 29 at Bougainvillea’s Old Florida Tavern, 7221 SW 58th Ave,, South Miami, Florida 33143. The cost is free.

--Jonathan Cunningham

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