OneRepublic - Ak-Chin Pavilion - 6/1/2014
Maria Vassett OneRepublic played at Ak-Chin Pavilion on Sunday, June 1. Full slideshow here.
OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder knows fans aren't going to mouth every lyric to every song at their show, and he's OK with that. The days of fans listening to entire albums are slowly dissipating, he says backstage before the group's show in Phoenix on Sunday. Music is appreciated one single at a time. Since OneRepublic is the kind of band that often sidesteps its cardinal genre several times per album, it works. When the band formed in 2002, Tedder says, this fluid approach to their identity was a curse. Now, he calls it a blessing.
As you may recall, OneRepublic was one of the first MySpace wunderkinds, landing a second chance at fame with Timbaland's Mosley Music Group after being dropped by Columbia. The band's third studio album, Native, was released in March 2013. It came after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus and was the Colorado group's first top 10 album in the United States, even though the album sold a little less in its first week than its debut Dreaming Out Loud (2007).
The new album -- and partnership with Malibu rum -- brought the band to Phoenix, where they played nearly every track on Native, including "Love Runs Out" -- a single released in April and with 2014 re-printings of Native.
The set list, though it spanned seven years of music, didn't feel disjointed or nostalgic when hitting biggies such as "Apologize." From stacking an encore with new material to dropping their biggest hits near the middle of the show, the band didn't really follow the "save the best for last" mold most groups with canon-overshadowing hits fall into. The arrangements were seamless. The sound was big enough to fill the pavilion on verbose sing-a-longs and dialed back for the gospel-infused performance of "Preacher."
The show was simply fun. The crowd was in a good mood. Tedder proclaimed that while he watched The Script perform, he could feel it'd be a good crowd in his bones. The concert really was the right amount of sincere, engaging and interactive. It was professional without being formulaic.
OneRepublic's set led with "Light It Up," then back-to-back Waking Up favorites "Secrets" and "All the Right Moves." The first song to get that overwhelming swell of audience emotion, though, was "Stop and Stare" off the band's debut. Though one of the oldest and oft-played, it felt pretty alive. The band jammed a little; Tedder finally lost his leather jacket.