OneRepublic Are More Than Just Their HitsAugust 12th, 2013
One Republic – Hudson River Park Pier 26 – August 10, 2013
On a remarkably beautiful Saturday night, OneRepublic packed the length of Pier 26 in Hudson River Park for their hour-and-a-half set of pop-rock radio hits. If, for some reason, you had forgotten how many hits they’ve had in the past six years, the world-touring Colorado band wasn’t afraid to remind you early in their set. With a giant white sheet blocking the stage that caught backlit silhouettes of the band, they opened with “Light It Up,” a heavier track from their new album, Native.
The sheet dropped and the band dove right into a few of their biggest songs, including the once inescapable “Secrets” and the Maroon 5-ish “Stop and Stare.” Frontman Ryan Tedder’s voice was often the highlight, but so was his energy, which was equally on display as he bounced around the stage, often climbing the seven-foot pyramids his drummer and keyboard player were moored to (he even slipped off one at one point, but in a Lead Singer 101 sort of move, he flipped on his back and made it look like his plan all along). OneRepublic also showed that they’re more than just their hits, which is always welcome to see with a band so large. They slowed down things with numbers like “Come Home” (about a friend away at war) and “Preacher” (about Tedder’s grandfather), and even covered a few songs—including Ray Charles’s “I Got a Woman” right into Kanye West’s take on it, “Gold Digger.”
And as if the picturesque setting weren’t enough, the whole set was backed by a brilliant light display and massive diamond-shaped video screens that showed everything from clips of the children’s choir that sang on “All the Right Moves” to the flying bicycle scene from E.T. before they played “Apologize.” This didn’t stop Tedder from sharing a few different times just how wowed he was by his surroundings. “We have almost literally played everywhere you could play, but this is the craziest venue there is,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve been uploading pictures of this view all night.” You and a few thousand others. —Sean O’Kane