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OneRepublic – Hartford, CT – 8/2/17

On Wednesday night, I went to see OneRepublic in Hartford. Although far from the metal and hard rock I normally enjoy, they didn’t disappoint! After all, I’m a live music fan first, then a genre snob. I was 9th row for the show which was pretty awesome. Although, the first time I ever saw OneRepublic I was front row, center stage thanks to a SiriusXM contest I won! But 9th row was still cool.

First, the opening bands….

James Arthur opened the show. You may know him from his hit song “Say You Won’t Let Go.” This isn’t my genre, so I can’t say I knew the song, but I did recognize it. He was a good performer. Crisp, clear sound and a solid singer. He only got to perform three songs due to “the storm or some bullshit.” His words. Some fans were surely disappointed by this and he definitely seemed annoyed himself. He was pretty good for an X-Factor winner….I hate singing talent shows.

Next was Fitz & the Tantrums who played a full set. They like to resort to lots of clapping, which I guess is why one of their newest singles “I can make your hands clap” makes so much sense. They were pretty entertaining though. Had a good sound, and a saxophone player! You don’t see that much these days so that was pretty cool. Two singers and some pretty good musicians made them a decent band. They closed with “The Walker” which is one of those songs where you say to yourself “Oh yeah! I know this one!” even if you don’t listen to the genre. Pretty sure it’s been used in several commercials in addition to plenty of radio rotation.

The headliner of course was OneRepublic. Another group of talented musicians. They all play a variety of instruments (including cello) and provide vocals in one way or another. Ryan Tedder (front man) handles singing, piano, and various percussion duties. I won’t go over the set list because if you search online, you’ll see it’s been the same for their 2017 tour. Which makes me wonder…if you’re a super fan and decided to go to all 4 New England shows (CT, MA, ME, NH) how pissed would you be to see the same show 4 times? Lucky for me, I’m only going once.

They played all the hits, but not the song Preacher that I rather enjoy. That was a bummer. New this year they started playing songs that Ryan Tedder wrote for/with others and decided to do their own version. They played Halo by overrated Beyonce’ and some Ed Sheeran song I should know but don’t. Later on they had Fitz and the Tantrums come on stage with them and did a pretty cool version of Adele’s Rumour Has It. Or maybe I should say that Adele does a lamer version of a Ryan Tedder song.

While at the show, it did sound great. I enjoyed the show in the moment and thought the band was solid. As a bonus, I scored a guitar pick and I didn’t leave with ringing ears or pounding headache…something to be said for those amphitheaters. But upon playback on some of my videos, friends and family pointed out that the vocals didn’t sound that great. I have to agree a bit when I listen to it now, but it was also one of several shows in a row before finally having a night off. If this was a pre-smartphone show, I wouldn’t have had the luxury of playback and never would’ve known. Aren’t concerts about the memories anyway? If so, it was a good one. This is not a band I ever expected to like, but I really enjoy them.

For the next memories…I have Dropkick Murphy’s and Rancid on August 5th, a Guns n Roses show or 2 in October (HELL YES!), and Liam Gallagher of Oasis fame in November. Things are shaping up and there’s more to come I’m sure!

About Rob the Concert Guy

I love live music and will pretty much go to just about any concert. I've made a lot of friends because of my willingness to put that extra ticket to good use. I've been to hundreds of shows and finally I decided I should start writing about them. Better late than never I guess.


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