Venue: The Star Theatre @ The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore
Date: 23rd April 2018
Promoter: Live Nation Singapore
Review by: Anna F.
Special thanks: The Live Nation SG team
I got my mind made up: I’ll never tire of seeing OneRepublic live. Seriously though, they could come back in six weeks and I’d be there – I just want your love, I’m an addict.
Barely seven months since they performed here at the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix event and the boys are back – so please tell me-e-e-e what there’s to complain about. Despite there being very few setlist changes, they still managed to put on an irreproachable performance of unrestrained hijinks, masterful technical skill, and overall gravitas; and it was a true manifestation of listening to a sunrise on the radio.
The Coloradoan pop-rock outfit, made up of vocalist (and sheer songwriting genius) Ryan Tedder, guitarists Zach Filkins and Drew Brown, drummer Eddie Fisher, multi-instrumentalist Brent Kutzle, and keyboardist and touring musician Brian Willett, showcased their astounding synchronicity throughout the night. And just like the story Ryan told about how the average lifespan of a band can be as short as three years, but 16 years have passed and they’re still at the peak of their career, OneRepublic has defied the odds – take them down and they keep trying, indeed.
Fans were treated to classics like “Good Life”, “I Lived”, and “Apologize” as well as their relatively newer tunes like “Kids” and “Rich Love”, and every song was textually complex and delivered with futuristic ferocity; you could feel it from your heart to your fingertips. They covered Beyoncé’s “Halo”, and also paid tribute to Avicii, with a heartfelt rendition of “Wake Me Up”. Brent’s prowess on the cello definitely shone in the space of the grand venue, and the performance overwhelmed everyone with emotion. Even Tedder seemed to be consumed with grief over the recent passing of the EDM superstar.
“We were just here! So this is amazing to be back. And this is the last time we’re coming back without new music or a new album,” Ryan promised, as he went on to talk a little bit about the miniature tour that they are currently embarking upon, after they got completely exhausted because they hadn’t had time off in a decade. He also clued us in on their collaboration with Logic for Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why soundtrack. And seeing how the crowd soaked in every moment of their 90-minute set, they can rest assured that their ever-growing legion of fans will be behind them every step of the way – till their love runs out (which will be never – I mean, who are we kidding?).
Besides the duties that come along with being a Grammy-nominated band and an all-round hit-making force to be reckoned with, they still find time to dip their feet into various artists’ careers, writing for Leona Lewis, Adele, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, and the like – the list is never-ending. What with Tedder literally writing everywhere he goes, things are only getting better from here on out. Treat after treat they doled out, including “Born to Race”, which comes off the upcoming soundtrack for the heavyweight video game franchise Need For Speed. Ryan shared that they were just playing Super Mario Cart right before they walked on stage, and it was evident that they were thrilled to even be asked to collaborate on the project – the future surely looks good right about now.
The ingenious singer-songwriter also took some time to turn the spotlight on the rest of his comrades on stage saying, “We’ve been a band for a long time now. I don’t have any biological sisters or brothers, so these are the closest things that I have to biological.” And it definitely felt like they were in tune with one another, especially during “Better”, the peculiar hip-hop-tinged oddity, when Eddie and Zach both duked it out on the drums. It only added to the explosive percussive dynamics of the band, and highlighted their multitudinal talents.
“Be good to each other – Namaste,” Ryan said as they closed out the show with “Love Runs Out”. And with that, the boys took their final bow and left with a hint that they’d be back next year.
From Tedder’s insane exhibition of his vocal reach during “Wherever I Go”, to the awe-inducing aesthetics of the lasers and confetti bursts, to “If I Lose Myself” unexpectedly transforming into a big dance party (you could feel the lights start to tremble with four of them drumming on their respective kits), you truly did it all, OneRepublic.