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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    One Grand Night

    One Republic first burst onto the mainstream airwaves in 2007 with Timbaland’s remix of their hit single “Apologize” despite being on the independent radar since 2002. Its fanbase suddenly grew exponentially and the alternative rock band is enjoying the success of a big breakthrough. They have been touring since October on their “Tag This Tour 2008” tour, sponsored by 5 Gum. On Wednesday night, Augustana, The Spill Canvas, and The Hush Sound helped them open their headlining show at Hammerstein Ballroom within Manhattan Center Studios in New York City to an excited crowd.

    Augustana was the main opener playing songs from “Midwest Skies and Sleepless Mondays” and “All the Stars and Boulevards”, including their popular hit “Boston”. In addition, they treated the audience to a special acoustic rendition of their latest single, “Sweet and Low”, off their new album “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt”, released in April by Epic Records. Lead vocalist Dan Layus’s voice was capable for most of the time although it teetered on the brink of a whine when he held a note for more than a few seconds. The band mates’ camaraderie was evident, both as a group and with The Spill Canvas and The Hush Sound, who joined Augustana for their rendition of “Handle With Care”. Layus explained that “Handle With Care” was the perfect choice for the collaboration between the three bands, as the original song is accredited to various artists itself, including George Harrison of The Beatles, Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra and Traveling Wilburys, Roy Orbison of Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Bob Dylan.

    After the three bands bowed out, Ryan Tedder took to the stage with Zach Filkins, Eddie Fisher, Brent Kutzie, and Drew Brown, leading the crowd in a slew of vibrant performances. Tedder’s vocals radiated in the Ballroom, reaching everyone from the lucky ticket holders on the upper balcony tiers with seats to the general standing crowd packed close to the outstanding stage. Strobe lights cast One Republic and their instruments awash in a rainbow of rich colors, under an ornate chandelier, a decorative touch of reminding concertgoers of the venue’s grand ambience, complete with a hand-painted mural on the ceiling.

    Most of the songs in the set were One Republic’s originals, off their debut “Dreaming Out Loud” on Interscope Records and Warner Brothers Records’ imprint Mosley Music Group, headed by Timbaland. Tedder’s piano riffs and Brent Kutzie’s cello harmonies were exceptionally good, drawing the crowd into live rousing sing-alongs. One Republic’s signature sincere lyrics such as “Do you know what your fate is?/ And are you trying to shake it?/ You’re doing your best and/ Your best look/ You’re praying that you make it” underscore songs such as “Say (All I Need)”. “Stop and Stare” and “Apologize” were obvious crowd favorites, since the singles have had the most radio airplay but the band’s newest song “Come Home” was just as heartfelt. The song’s background is based off Tedder’s friend’s story, who was shipped out to Iraq shortly after getting engaged. “Come Home” is the current featured song on the band’s website, as a duet with Sara Bareilles. Aside from their originals, the band also covered Gnarls Barkley’s 2006 hit single “Crazy” to the audience’s delight.

    The night capped off with an encore presentation and Tedder’s proclamation that they would take over part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade the next day, just for fun. One Republic will be back in the recording studio, working on their second album, due out next summer.

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