OneRepublic at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
A few moments away from the start of the show, the anticipation grows. Everything is ready to welcome OneRepublic back to London. The band kick in immediately with a blast of lights, sounds and scents (a couple of incense sticks were burning on the speakers), transforming the gig into a multisensory experience.
As soon as they begin their second song, Secrets, their crowd is screaming with joy and the fun doesn’t stop there. Next comes All the Right Moves, introduced by a short video of children singing the track a cappella at Abbey Road Studios. Everybody sings along while frontman Ryan Tedder moves like an incessant spinning top – he sure knows how to captivate his audience. People, however, are relatively stiff in their theatre chairs. Looking around, the impression is of marble statues, the energy radiating from OneRepublic wasted.
Luckily, the group are not in the least discouraged, and give their all delivering a staggeringly well-balanced performance. The gig features a mix of old hits, new tunes, a solo with a Spanish feel by guitarist Zach Filkins, and mash-ups of covers, including Seven Nation Army (originally by The White Stripes) and SexyBack by Justin Timberlake. OneRepublic’s renditions demonstrate not only the band’s multi-genre influences, but also their ability to give the tracks a personal twist.
The choice to avoid closing the show with fan favourites like Apologize (which was given away quite soon) is another sign that the band has many other aces up their sleeves. Tedder and co. can rely on their skills as musicians and entertainers.
The concert never slows down, but it is nonetheless the encore that blows the venue away. Tracks like Feel Again or If I Lose Myself from new album Native, though relatively fresh to the ears, are already stadium-like in magnitude. The public truly lets loose and the end of the gig is sealed with an explosion of confetti that leaves everyone ecstatic.
It might have taken years for the new record to see the light, but it was worth the wait: OneRepublic are back and they won’t stop rocking anytime soon.
Photos: Sarah Tsang
For further information and future events visit OneRepublic’s website here.
Watch a live performance of If I Lose Myself here: