ONE REPUBLIC has stayed pretty much under the radar, as bands go.
You may be forgiven if you hadn’t paid much attention to the Colorado hailing band since their famed 2007 worldwide selling and record breaking hit and Timbaland remixed track ‘Apologize’ .
They’ve gained respectable success in subsequent years, but it’s been a while since One Republic has graced us with anything equally as ground-breaking.
Speaking of making the typical musician’s pilgrimage to the home of The Smiths and The Stone Roses, it was understandable why Manchester would feel like a second home for a band that appeared to take live music very seriously.
This week, proving me unjust, the band played to a packed venue at The Ritz, Manchester to promote new album, Native, and as the crowd grew to rapturous roars to more recent hit, ‘Secrets’ (see video below), I realised the band had a greater following than I once thought.
As the five-piece entered to a staged filled with instruments – a ratio of around 2:1 to each musician - it appeared One Republic planned to wow the crowd with their musical dexterity.
The lead guitarist was also a dab-hand at playing the cello, the bassist tinkled at a xylophone and there was a fantastic Spanish guitar solo moment that rid my perception of One Republic being little more than another run-of-the-mill band. Front man Ryan Tedder, adorned in his customary The Hitchhiker-esque outfit of a leather jacket and worker boots, was particularly musically skilled and seamlessly rotated between acoustic guitar, piano and playing the heck out of a tambourine. Half expecting the band to bring out the steel-pans next, I did wonder if there was an instrument they couldn’t play.
Shuffling the set around to form a more intimate feel, it was as though the audience had been invited to a garage ‘jam-session’ back in Colorado. Tedder, a celebrated song-writer (Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ being the most notable of his writing credits), can really sing too and impressed with his note-soaring falsetto.
Addressing the crowd, Tedder spoke of how Manchester was one of his favourite places and that he wasn’t “bull-shitting” either. Speaking of making the typical musician’s pilgrimage to the home of The Smiths and The Stone Roses, it was understandable why Manchester would feel like a second home for a band that appeared to take live music very seriously.
From covering Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger’ to finishing the show with a White Stripes, ‘Seven Nation Army’ mash-up, One Republic are where pop meets rock and agrees on a happy medium – as long as the choruses are catchy and the music is always played live of course.
Follow L’Oreal on Twitter on @LOreal_b
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