One Republic at the Hammersmith Apollo
“Let’s hear it for the drunk grandfathers!” It’s a Monday night in Hammersmith and Ryan Tedder is conducting the crowd in a church-style harmonisation of OneRepublic’s hit track, Apologise. It is one of many lighthearted moments when the acclaimed singer jokes around with his adoring crowd.
It has been two long years since OneRepublic played a UK show – not ideal for a group who, pre-pandemic, were coming out of a six-year touring hiatus. Yet, tonight, you wouldn’t think it as they power through a setlist of tracks from their discography (and a few covers) to endless screams of approval. A quick documentary-style video monologue opens the evening before the seven-piece launches into a stellar trifecta of Kids, Good Life and All the Right Moves. This is a band who don’t need to leave their biggest hits to last because, frankly, it’s hard to gauge which are which. New favourites and old classics blend perfectly together, the crowd lapping up every note.
A moment is dedicated to Tedder’s career as a songwriter: “Here’s a song we’re not going to sing tonight”, he declares before seamlessly belting out some of the biggest records of the past two decades, as well as a quick rendition of I Will Always Love You that would surely impress Whitney herself. It is Beyonce’s Halo and then the Jonas Brother’s Sucker that get their full moment, and for a minute one almost forgets that these weren’t released by OneRepublic themselves.
For a band that has had such huge commercial success, the Colorado natives have rather slipped under the radar, but there is nothing showy or pretentious about them in person: between the anecdotal interludes and tender moments they are simply good at what they do. OneRepublic could risk coming across as “Tedder and co” with a frontman so energetic and endearing, and yet, from the staging arrangement to the consistent swapping of instruments, each musician’s talent shines – an impressive feat for a seven-piece live act.
With a rousing performance from start to finish, OneRepublic show no signs of slowing down. A poignant speech about near-death experiences precedes closer I Lived before an exhilarating three-song encore has the balcony on their feet. As the audience is showered in confetti for the triumphant If I Lose Myself, the 20-year-old band prove that there’s still a lot of life left in them. It appears the hiatus is well and truly over, with the promise of more shows ahead.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit One Republic’s website here.
Watch the video for the single West Coast here: