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Live Review: OneRepublic – 12th November 2013 – The Star Event Centre, Sydney, Australia

4 min read

As support act Emma Birdsall gradually wound up her brief set last night at The Star Event Centre (with a pretty cool version of Justin Timberlake’s Suit & Tie), you could sense the crowd growing increasingly anxious, salivating at the thought that their favourite band was about to be strutting the same stage.

Flocks of OneRepublic fans descended on the Sydney venue last night to catch the U.S superstars of pop rock unleash their latest album on Australian soil, a first time for an act who has to date never toured Australia as a headline act; something front man Ryan Tedder would eventually admit to being quite an embarrassing fact though promised by the end of the show to return to Oz in 2014 with another new show.

The band appeared on stage at close to 9pm but for the opening song, Light It Up the band were mere silhouettes, performing behind a large white curtain, gradually edging the crowd toward a state of frenzy. As soon as that curtain dropped it was all go as the band lit the flame on a spectacular night of hits and pennings from their years as one of rocks finest collectives.

Cellist Brent Kutle sat centre stage while the bands guitarist worked away frantically on violin during Secrets, helping provide a meaty orchestral backbone to the opening of the show before one of the bands biggest numbers, All The Right Moves offered the first of many of the bands commercial hits throughout the night. The stage was well equipped for the show with enormous diamond shaped light displays set up behind the band, a giant screen showing off a series of images throughout the night and Tedder’s piano which was lit in neon lights like a musical beacon in the middle of the stage. Visually, the band had The Star decked out!

Stop and Stare, another of the bands signature hits, saw Tedder grab his guitar and inject a cool hit of acoustic sweetness to the set-list while the front man reach some rather impressive high notes at the end; the crowd cheering in approval.

New album, Native provided the night with some of the biggest inclusions and finer performances. Counting Stars was nothing short of epic. The track opened with a flamenco style guitar intro before a thumping beat propelled the crowd into a frenzy as they sang along with every word offered by Tedder during the performance. This was clearly the highlight of the night with its energetic delivery and was evidently the biggest crowd pleasing inclusion, climaxing with a few bursts from some air jets position carefully around the band members.

With a brief interlude of Charlie Chaplin sketches playing on the screen while the band left the stage to catch their breath, Tedder returned solo to sit at his neon lit piano to perform mega OneRepublic hit Apologize mixed with a couple of chorus’ from Rihanna’s We Found Love and Coldplay’s Yellow.

Burning Bridges began the set’s acoustic session with the band all coming to the front of the stage with acoustic instruments to deliver a few notables including the following Preacher.

Half way through I Gotta Woman, the saloon vibe of the set was cut short as Tedder’s piano appeared to have a brief melt-down and had to be serviced. It wasn’t long before the show got back under way with Tedder erupting into a full throttle cover of Kanye West’s Gold Digger.Can’t Stop was a falsetto rich power ballad while Something I Need found a comfortable nesting spot nearing the end of the set and was easily one of the best performances of the night with Tedder admitting that the conception of the song came from “a night of too much alcohol and not enough sleep”.

2010 single success The Good Life closed the set in spectacular fashion but that wasn’t the last we heard from OneRepublic as the band soon after emerged to perform a fantastic encore made up of Feel Again, Life In Colour and closing hit, If I Lose Myself.

I can’t say I have followed the OneRepublic wagon over the years to have previously deemed myself a fan however, having finally caught these guys live I can safely say they have won me over. The performance was pretty incredible and I was surprised at how may songs I actually knew from these guys.  Though at times the Tedder’s vocal wailing did get a little much – he can certainly master a Mariah Carey impersonation that’s for sure – the crowd lapped it up. He is a fine performer with a skilled set of pipes on him. He also is a man who knows how to bring the hype out of a crowd. This is a band that I would gladly see again if presented with the opportunity and I will certainly be hitting the iTunes store today to complete my OneRepublic collection.

Set List:

Light It Up
Secrets
All the Right Moves  
What You Wanted
Stop and Stare
Counting Stars
Apologize/We Found Love/Yellow
Burning Bridges
Preacher
I Gotta Woman/ Gold Digger
Can’t Stop
Something I Need
I Lived
Good Life

Encore:
Feel Again
Life in Colour
If I Lose Myself