“Singapore has changed a lot since the last time we’ve been here,” said Ryan Tedder, frontman of OneRepublic, when the band landed in town on Oct 29 for the Singapore leg of their world tour.
Performing in Sentosa at Hard Rock Hotel’s The Coliseum to promote their latest album, Native, they recalled the last time they were here for SINGfest in 2008 between performances on-stage, drawing a roar from their fans.
You quickly remember that the American rock band was catapulted from an unsigned MySpace act to international stars just in 2007, thanks to Timbaland’s genius stroke of remixing their “Apologize”.
For a band with countless hits worldwide, they kicked off their 1-night only performance with “Don’t Look Down”, a new song from their latest offering.
The 2-hour aural feast proved that OneRepublic was a band for the people because, unlike artistes who specifically play mostly songs from their new albums for promotion, OneRepublic recognize their fans’ need for something familiar.
So the 5-member band proceeded to take the 4000-crowd on a trip down memory lane with solid crowd pleasers that included “Apologize” and “Stop and Stare” from their debut album, Dreaming Out Loud, as well as “All The Right Moves” and “Secrets” from the Waking Up album, and “Counting Stars” from their latest record.
And boy did the audience lap it up. Frontman Tedder, who was dressed simply in T-shirt and jeans, could have just sung the first line of every song and the crowd would have sung the rest for him. A venue packed with concertgoers ranging from teenagers to senior citizens, the audience knew all the lyrics to all the songs and weren’t afraid to yell them out loud.
Professing his “wildly diverse musical taste”, Tedder would interject momentarily to belt out hits from other artistes like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Justin Timberlake as a homage to those who have influenced his artistic direction.
A notable eclectic song choice would be the band’s cover of Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”. Tedder had mentioned, during the press conference before the concert, that their reputation for doing covers of other songs is a product of mere fun on their part.
This is no small honor as Tedder is himself a sought-after songwriter and producer who has written and produced hits for artistes ranging from the first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, to R&B royalty Beyoncé and country superstar and American idol, Carrie Underwood.
In addition to his long list of writing and production credits, Tedder is also a multi-instrumentalist and has an impressive vocal range (and falsetto). Also remarkable were the various impromptu scaling of notes on Tedder’s part throughout various songs, firmly establishing him as a vocal powerhouse in his own right.
The show was also peppered with acoustic sessions, both planned and unplanned and left the audience in awe of Tedder’s raw talent and easy-going charisma that were on full display.
The boys’ rapport was like that of old friends, filled with playful bantering and half-hearted jabs at each other. Tedder also played off the energy of the audience, often mumbling inaudibly into the microphone at the crowd while the fans responded with vivacious screams every time he spoke.
“Good Life” was supposed to be the last song of the night, with Tedder replacing some of the lyrics with mentions of Singapore, but the unrelenting crowd managed to bring back the boys for an encore of “Feel Again” and “If I Lose Myself”, undoubtedly the most prominent hit from Native thanks to a wildly successful Electronic Dance Music (EDM) collaboration with DJ Alesso, which brought the audience to an aural climax and closed the show with fans literally jumping in ecstasy.
Photos courtesy of Bryan Foong and Dan Walsh Studios