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OneRepublic at the BJC 10/3/13: Concert Review

Posted by Jessica Gold on 10/04 at 04:22 PM

B+

In case you’re not familiar with OneRepublic they are a pop/alternative rock band that formed in 2003 by lead singer, Ryan Tedder and Zach Filkins. Before they got signed, they were popular on Myspace. They were first signed to Sony BMG for three years, and then moved to Mosely Music Group. OneRepublic’s band members include: Ryan Tedder- lead vocals & guitar, Zach Filkins- guitarist and backing vocals, Drew Brown- guitarist, Brent Cutzle- bass & cello and Eddie Fisher as drummer. The band became popular in the mainstream after releasing their lead single “Apologize,” which is from their debut album called Dreaming Out Loud . The song was later remixed by renowned producer, Timbaland.

Yesterday, after a day full of activities provided by the truth truck, the OneRepublic concert began at the Bryce Jordan Center. To my surprise, the show started at 7:30 p.m. on the dot.

As stated in the concert preview, TeamMate opened the show with a few songs to build up the energy of the crowd. The duo is made up of Dani Buncher (drummer) and Scott Simmons (keyboardist). Buncher and Simmons were involved in a romantic relationship until Dani came out, but they still work as ‘teammates’ (literally) to create music for their fans. The crowd got going when TeamMate covered Madonna’s “Causing a Commotion” and performed their own song, “Love is Love.”

TeamMate’s performance was good overall, but their music probably won’t ever end up in my iTunes library. Their music didn’t really interest me. However, I did enjoy their Madonna cover because the vocals were great.

After about a 30-minute wait, OneRepublic came out on stage with the sound of boisterous guitar strums and the echoing voice lead singer, Tedder. Their performance began with a white backdrop that only made each band member’s shadow visible. When the backdrop fell, the crowd went crazy for the men dressed in all black. After a short intro of instrumentals and ad-libs, OneRepublic performed “Secrets,” while the three screens on stage displayed a serene image of beautiful, crystal clear water flowing. Cutzle played the cello for this song and a violinist also played along with the group.

OneRepublic then performed “All The Right Moves” with the music video playing on the screens behind them. Audience members on the floor started dancing, and those in the stands nodded their heads to the beat. I liked the live version of this song way better than the radio version because there was a lot more energy and the instruments sounded better. I find it more enjoyable when instruments don’t sound totally studio-produced. During the song, Tedder jumped around the stage, which kept the crowd energized.

Next, OneRepublic performed “What You Wanted.” The crowd slowly clapped along while neon orange and yellow lights shined on them. Tedder hit soprano notes while showing off his rifting skills. I could feel the bass of the live instruments roaring through my chest. I really enjoyed the lyrics of this song and also the musicianship because it had me dancing and singing along.

“Stop and Stare” was next in line, and also sounded better live because I felt more of an energetic groove than the studio version. The live version didn’t seem controlled, and OneRepublic really just went with the flow. The audience also sang along and rocked side to side during this song.

After “Stop and Stare,” one of the guitarists did a quick solo. I believe it was Filkins, but I could be mistaken. Although it was just an improvised solo, it seemed like Filkins was playing a rehearsed song. His talents definitely were displayed because of the range of notes he hit.

The next song was “Counting Stars.” Tedder sang his lead parts, but also managed to play a tambourine at the same time. OneRepublic then performed “Apologize,” but before it started, scenes of Charlie Chaplin played on the screens while the group made a quick wardrobe change. Tedder began to play the piano as the audience waved their ‘flashlight mode’ phones in the air. Cutzle hopped on the cello again for this song. Honestly, I like the radio version more than I liked this live performance. Not only were the vocals a bit pitchy, but so was the piano playing. The live version was pretty dull compared to the remixed version with Timbaland. I was sort of disappointed by this because “Apologize” is my favorite song by OneRepublic.

Tedder also mixed in the hook of Mackelmore’s “Same Love” into “Apologize.” After this ballad, Tedder spoke to the audience. He talked about being away from home at college and also trying to make long-distance relationships work while in school. Then he said “live it up Penn State, but don’t get alcohol poisoning,” which was a cue for the band to start playing “Come Home.” Tedder’s voice sounded like it was becoming exhausted, and his notes got pitchy again.

Tedder made a smooth transition into a cover of Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman,” as he played along on the piano to it. Then he also covered Kanye West’s version by rapping his whole first verse. I liked the cover because the audience was dancing and singing along and it was also very good.

OneRepublic then went on to perform “Can’t Stop,” which is a song about the death of a romantic relationship. The vocals were again a bit off on this song, and Tedder screamed more, in my opinion, than sang. I like the song, but the vocals didn’t do it justice.

After “Cant Stop,” Tedder told the audience that when he dies he wants “I Lived” to be played at his funeral. It’s a song about his life growing up and how he wants to be able to say he’s done everything he wanted to when he passes away. I really liked the message of this song, and it was also personal because it’s about his life.

OneRepublic left the stage for a few minutes to change into their Penn State jerseys. Each of them had their names on the back, with “Penn State” painted in white letters on the front. As the music for “Feel Again” started to play, the arena was filled with energy and was thumping from every instrument that was playing. The crowd jumped around and screamed during the entire performance. This definitely was the best performance of the night. Not only was the crowd totally into it, but the musicianship and vocals were precise.

The show ended with the performances of “Life in Color,” and “If I Lose Myself.”  Both songs were good, but nothing specific stuck out to me about them. White confetti fell on stage and on the audience at the end of “If I Lose Myself,” and OneRepublic thanked Penn State for having them.

As a whole the concert was very entertaining and full of energy. I would say that I was only disappointed during most of TeamMate’s set and during “Apologize.” But for the most part, the vocals were very good, and the live instruments made the majority of the songs sound even better than the radio or album versions.

{name} Author: Jessica Gold
Bio: Jessica Gold is a senior at the Pennsylvania State University. She is majoring in Print Journalism with double minors in African-American Studies and Sociology. Gold has a love for fashion, style and culture, and plans to work her way through the magazine industry after graduation. Her dream job is to become a writer/editor for Essence, but her ultimate goal is to create her own publication that incorporates multiculturalism in various arenas. She has hopes of achieving this by the time she is 30.

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