OneRepublic launch into their hits on their very own runway
By Patrick Cameron
American pop rockers OneRepublic brought their “Native” album tour to its European conclusion at Rockhal on Monday night, bringing to an end a two-year tour.
OneRepublic have credited much of their success to the now mostly defunct myspace, which kept the bands name out there after they were dropped from their label, Columbia, just two months before they were to release their debut album.
Still managing to maintain and build a fan base from just using myspace, many labels started to take note again. One of those labels being Timberland’s Mosley Music Group who with the band, remixed ‘Apologize’ and released it to huge critical acclaim, reaching No1 in 16 countries.
Now 1.5 billion - yes billion - YouTube plays later they are a mainstay on radios the world over. I’m sure someone at Columbia must have had a stern talking to after letting this band go. They’ve been joined for their last six shows by New York rockers ‘The Last Internationale’ who include Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine on drums.
They clearly have their roots set in '70s rock. It’s a heavier support than I was expecting and initially quite exhilarating, with searing guitar solos and soaring vocals by Delila Paz but after a while it felt as if their sound was getting lost in the vast space of the Rockhal.
They pulled out a Sam Cooke cover in the wonderful ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ but this just seemed like a vehicle for Paz to flaunt her very impressive vocal abilities. They do however look to have an incredible booking agent or label as they’ve just supported ‘Incubus’ and will be on the road with ‘The Who’ and ‘Counting Crows’ this summer.
From the moment I arrived at the Rockhal I noticed a huge white curtain hanging over the stage, which of course could only mean one thing - a great reveal. As the lights dimmed and people rushed into the hall from the bar, spotlights pierced out from behind the stage creating silhouettes of each of the band members on the curtain.
Front man Ryan Tedder played with the silhouettes as the band started with the instrumental ‘Don’t Look Down’. It’s only when the drums of the aptly named ‘Light It Up’ kicked in, that the curtain fell to reveal the band.
It took until ‘Something I need’ for Tedder to take to the runway, which was protruding out into the depths of the Rockhal. Running up and down Tedder filmed their legions of screaming fans with a camera he picked up off the stage, which had a feed to the big screens.
This seems to be a thing these days. At the weekend it was The Script taking a camera to the crowd. The piano was then wheeled out onto the runway for Tedder to play the tender ‘Apologize’, the song that started them on this long road of success.
He’s clearly a very talented musician looking just as comfortable behind the piano as he is with the guitar. Not to be outshone guitarist Zach Filkins took to the Spanish guitar to play a solo looped flamenco segment. It was his moment to shine whilst the stage was prepped once more behind the curtain, which magically reappeared whilst our attention was drawn to the runway for the last few songs.
Then as Filkins dropped the flamenco sound you could slowly start to make out ‘Counting Stars’ building from behind the curtain, then for one last time the curtain fell as they played their smash hit. It’s a pop song of epic proportions and meant to be heard in arenas such as this.
As the night drew to a close they give us a great rendition of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’ as Tedder mentioned they’ve been on this tour a long time now and they get sick of their own songs, eventually.
For the last decade the world must have really felt like one big wonderful place for OneRepublic from being at the bottom of the pile, no label, no money, to global pop stars. I true lesson on never giving up on your dreams in action here.
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