I teased in my first Mixtape Festival post on Gavin Degraw that in my next blog in the Mixtape Festival series I would be talking about OneRepublic’s stunning performance at Hershey Stadium. And whatd’ya know, here I am!
Though OneRepublic didn’t close the show (that was left to Pat Monohan and his boys in Train), in my eyes their set dominated the entire evening. From start to finish and even after they had left the stage I was left open-mouthed on the bleachers repeating things like, “Wow…” and, “They’re really good.”
But of course these are comments that vastly understate how extremely talented and charismatic the entire band was in their performance. Essentially I was left almost speechless, but now reflecting back on the show I am able to form much more cohesive and descriptive sentences. Lucky for you, right?!
Ryan Tedder, lead singer of the band, informed the crowd early on that he had lost his voice 2 days ago and then courteously apologized if his vocals weren’t up to par. But his apology proved to be unnecessary because he easily hit even the highest of notes that night.
A moment that held quite a few of those high notes and left me more awestruck I had been the entire night was when the band unexpectedly covered Kanye West’s “Gold Digger.”
Ryan teased fans by playing a few lines on the piano before launching into an electrifying full band version of the well-known tune. Even if you’re not a fan of Kanye West, it’s hard not to be impressed by how remarkably the band transformed the song into something completely their own.
1R also threw in a little bit Rihanna’s “Hopeless Place” while performing their hit “Apologize,” which was also impressive.
Another highlight of 1R’s time on stage was the song “I Lived” from their newest album Native. With it’s slow build in tempo, easy chorus and consistent drum beat the song felt reminiscent of a Mumford and Sons number. Though I did not know the song beforehand, the sing along that occurred was catchy enough to follow along with right away and left me with goose bumps for days.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I’d like to mention OneRepublic’s lights. Yes, their lights.
If we’ve ever gone to a concert together then you’ll probably know just how much I appreciate a well done light show. When performing in an outdoor venue it’s easy to focus on just the sound quality and let other parts of the production fall by the wayside. But with light-up drum and keyboard platforms, and even a light-up piano for Tedder, 1R’s crew took their performance to the next level through their lights – and I definitely took notice.
As a last hurrah in the midst of their final song, 1R threw glowing blinking blue orbs into the crowd as a way for fans to interact with not only each other but also the band a little bit more. Ryan took a que from the orbs and decided to get involved with the fans even more by jumping over the barricade and into the throng of unexpecting music lovers.
Though Ryan didn’t make it over to my section (nor did the orbs), it was still very cool to look on as he delighted fans with a simple touch of the hand or a glance in their direction.
Venturing into the crowd seems to be a theme for artists who performed at the Mixtape Festival. Hmm, I wonder if it will continue!
In my next post I’ll bring day 1 of the Mixtape Festival to a close by sharing my thoughts on headliner Train. There’s mermaid dancing, guest vocalists and much more to be discussed and certainly you don’t wanna miss it!