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Friday, June 16, 2023

The OneRepublic Live Experience

06/16/2023 01:01:56 AM

I initially wrote a portion of this piece last March 2023. But due to a buttload of commitments in over two and a half months, it was a struggle to get back to writing (yup, that includes finishing this piece). I rarely attend large-scale music shows. That said, OneRepublic's live concert at the Big Dome was the first international concert I attended since Mike Shinoda in September 2019.

OneRepublic first came to my consciousness when they hit the Manila Contemporary Hit radio scene with their song with Timbaland (Apologize) in the second half of 2007, or during my first months as a college student. Little did I know that 16 years later, I would take a trip down memory lane.

As someone who rarely goes to arena concerts, seeing Ryan Tedder and the entire crew can be a mind-blowing experience like, "Really, you'll be seeing OneRepublic despite hearing very few tracks from them?"

Well, why not? Apologize, Stop and Stare, Good Life, Secrets, and more made up a part of my college music playlist aside from the OPM band explosion and 'emo' eras. So, who am I to refuse when Cris tapped me to cover their recent live-in-Manila outing last February at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City?

Jessia opened the show as its front act at exactly 8:00 PM. It was the first time I encountered the Canadian singer-songwriter as she sang some of her original songs, But I Don't, One Of The Guys, Nobody Hates You, and I'm Not Pretty, along with her two band members. Perhaps, a half-hour of calm before the nostalgic storm. Impressive, I must say.

The Colorado-based Grammy-award-winning band took over the stage at 9:00PM. Over 16 songs were performed during their 90-minute set at The Big Dome, from timeless classics to recent hit singles, plus a little bit of detour with Ryan Tedder-composed hit songs for 15 minutes: Halo (Beyonce), the medley of Rumour Has It (Adele) and That’s What I Want (Lil Nas X), Sucker (Jonas Brothers), and Lose Somebody (Kygo). 

Although it felt bitin to some extent, it was a long-ass singalong session with people from that one country he cited as the people “who feel music, unlike any country on Earth.” He was right – Filipinos can sing better than everyone else for one hell of an incredible night, as promised. 

Hell, it was evident during the choir-ish performance of Apologize. The song took me back to 2007 but with a wave of voices echoing around The Big Dome that left a damn haunting vibe. And that's just one of the top highlights of the evening; even in a not-totally-sold-out Araneta Coliseum, the crowd's energy made it feel like I was in a Standing Room Only atmosphere from Secrets to Lose Myself. People were definitely on their feet, clapping around, and roaring during the up-tempo tracks like Love Runs Out, I Ain't Worried, Counting Stars, and I Lived; while singing with angsty emotions for the mellow and slow ones like Good Life, Stop and Stare (which really took me back to those good old days of '07), to name a few.

Man, I wish they stretched the show some more. Or maybe have the nerve to finish this piece earlier than now. But hey, if Ryan told everyone in the venue, “Philippines, we love you and thank you for having us. Let’s do this again next time,” it is no doubt that this 4-time Grammy winner American pop band would come back to the Philippine shores, that one country with the best choir they had out of 45. Sheesh! 

Special thanks to Cris Ramos of One Music PH, Grace Foronda and Wilbros Live.

Author: slickmaster | © 2023 The SlickMaster's Files

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