One Republic at the Olympia by Michelle Geraghty-9703

One Republic at The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, 24th March 2014

The support for One Republic’s two night sold out stint in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre was provided by Mikky Ekko. If the name sounds familiar don’t be surprised. You have probably heard him sing Stay with Rihanna, a tune which has received over 256 million YouTube hits. The performance of his most well known number doesn’t disappoint here; his vocals are rich, powerful and soulful in a live setting. The rest of his show is promising and we shall be keeping an eye on this singer-songwriter.

Following Ekko’s performance, a white sheet is raised to cover the Olympia’s stage. Bright lights are turned on shortly after nine o’clock, creating black silhouettes of One Republic that flicker during the aptly titled opener Light It Up.

Secrets from their second album Waking Up is next on the programme and cellist Brent Kutzle delivers the striking, nostalgic cello line energetically and confidently on his all black, hipster-esque instrument. There is a swell in the chorus as the drums kick in, that seems to be magnified by visuals of ocean waves in the background.

“Happy Monday, Dublin,” lead singer Ryan Tedder says as he jumps around the stage to All The Right Moves in front of a video of dancers at a masquerade ball. He is light-footed and seems to find it difficult to stay in any one spot any longer than ten seconds. Stop and Stare from One Republic’s debut album ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ prompts a sing-a-long and smart phone frenzy.

At one point the audience take over the vocals and Tedder conducts from his podium. His vocals are pitch perfect and the only real difference in the live performance from what you might be familiar with on the albums is the addition of a few extra Mariah Carey style ad-libs and warbles.

Guitarist Zach Felkins, gives the rest of the band a break and steps out into the spotlight for a Spanish guitar solo performance. He thumps the guitar to create a beat and plays with a loop pedal while layering sounds and rhythms over one and another. It’s an unexpected but enjoyable feature in the show.

As the band return to the stage an ‘Ole Ole’ chant erupts from the audience. “This why Ireland fucking rocks,”  Tedder says and runs the Ole chant into last year’s surprise viral hit Counting Stars.

In terms of production the band have included some simple but effective features. For example, Tedder’s piano has multi-coloured back lighting and at one point during the concert he is handed a mirror to re-angle a stage light which he proceeds to shine on various audience members.

A custom time-lapse video showing sites around Dublin is projected onto the rear of the stage during Dreaming Out Loud and add a nice tailor-made feel to the gig.

Tedder assumes his position at the piano alone and beings to tinkle away the introduction to Apologize, performed without the Timberland samples. The band rejoin him on stage for the second verse to help deliver what is possibly one of the most played break-up songs of the last decade.

As the roadies prepare the stage for the encore a short film is played. It corresponds to their charity single Feel Again which successfully raised $750,000 for the ‘Save the Children’ campaign.

“Seriously, no BS, this is one of the most beautiful theatres in the world, you should be proud,” Tedder says while looking upwards and admiring the surroundings before draping an Irish flag over his microphone stand.

The gig is a compilation of their greatest hits over the last eleven years. The many hit singles maintain the momentum throughout the show, however some of the new songs from the most recent album lag a little towards the end. Tedder sometimes comes across as a little hyperactive as he leaps around the stage and throws tambourines and microphones in the air, yet all in all the band have no difficulties engaging with one another to produce a lively, confident performance.

One Republic is your guilty pleasure pop band. It’s the kind of show that does exactly what it says on the tin; it is professionally presented and their touring experience is evident. It is an entertaining show, full of radio pop favourites but it probably won’t offer anything that will transform or impact your musical landscape forever.

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Photos: Michelle Geraghty