OneRepublic brings latest music — and emotion — to fans

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If there is any chance that music exists in heaven, then there's a chance that the heavens heard Ryan Tedder’s a cappella falsettos Friday night at the First Niagara Pavilion.

Beaming blue spotlights circled the crowd as OneRepublic introduced fans to hits from their latest album. It was like someone telling you how beautiful life is through their eyes.

The Colorado Springs, Colo., band performed a 18-song set — some old, some new, some borrowed (like Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”), and at one point, turned the stage blue during a performance of the hit song featuring Timberland, “Apologize.”

The band kept the audience entertained for more than two hours with songs including “Preacher,” “Can’t Stop,” “Au Revoir,” and “If I Lose Myself.” Dressed in all black, Mr. Tedder was clearly the rock star of the night, swinging his signature fedora hat on and off during songs, bouncing on speakers, jumping on the piano for a few songs and blessing fans with his lyrical genius.

During “Counting Stars,” he ran off stage and through aisles to visit concert-goers on the lawn, a gesture that was well-received.

The emotion Mr. Tedder evoked made you want to sing with him. And the crowd did. Over and over again, finishing his songs, at times faster than he could keep up.

Moments from the concert were also uniquely tailored to Pittsburghers, as Mr. Tedder performed “Come Home” to images of the Pennsylvania flag and the Fort Pitt Bridge.

However, bassist Brent Kutzle’s talent was not to be ignored on the cello during songs including “Apologize,” “Preacher,” and especially “Au Revoir.”

Although their focus is pop rock, their style is an amalgamation of sounds. And after nearly two years of being away from the Steel City, OneRepublic gave fans a reason to revel in their presence.

After a three-year hiatus, OneRepublic’s latest album is a true gem. In fact, many of the songs written by Mr. Tedder were inspired by his personal experiences, including “I Lived,” which he admittedly wrote for his son, Copeland. The lyrics “I did it all,” conveyed the theme of the night.

The band concluded with an unforgettable encore featuring a solo performance by Mr. Tedder, and two other songs — “Love Runs Out” and “If I Lose Myself.” Together the band members beat on LED drums simultaneously to end the night.

American Authors opened, performing their hit song “Best Day of My Life,” followed by The Script, who performed songs including “Before the Worst,” and “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved.” During their set, lead singer Danny O’Donoghue performed “Nothing” to a fan’s ex-girlfriend while on the phone.

“You know you can never call her back, right?”  vocalist/guitarist Mark Sheehan said to the fan. Well, when you’re enjoying a concert where the band leader’s cool enough to sing on your behalf, why would you ever want to?

Ebony Martin: First Published August 10, 2014 12:00 AM

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