words: Daniel Hanssen // photos: Rick Clifford @rcstills
“What would have captured the crowd; beyond the incredible diverse range of Ryan's vocals was the energy the band was able to illicit.”
The Californian band has been a strong part of modern music history, writing for and involving themselves with some of the biggest artists in the world. Melbourne was lucky enough to host them during their visit to Australia, seeing the crew just after smashing a stadium concert at the NRL Grand Final up in Sydney.
Sydney artist Thandi Phoenix opened for the juggernaut RnB unit, amping up easily to one of the biggest crowds the Forum had in for an opener.
Her set comprised heavily of her current releases including "Cleopatra", "My Way" and "Say It". Yet, Thandi could easily be seen as more than an opener for the night making multiple appearances throughout OneRepublic's set, featuring alongside Ryan for many of their duets famously for the night through Adele's "Rumour Has It".
2019 has so far been a massive year for the Forum Theatre, with many international and crowd-drawing local acts gracing the stage. While OneRepublic are surely used to the big stadium sellouts, their Forum set on Tuesday night was something a little out of the ordinary, but nethertheless special. OneRepublic’s lead vocalist Ryan Tedder was happy to capitalise on the opportunity, explaining the reason behind some of his song’s lyrics while sowing a story of his songwriting alongside other artists, including the Jonas Brothers, Rihanna and Adele all of which had songs featured throughout the band’s set.
Their set was very much on brand, bringing a mixture of early hits such as the chart toppers "Apologize" and "Stop And Stare" against newer near as popular releases such as "Rescue Me". What would have captured the crowd; beyond the incredible diverse range of Ryan's vocals was the energy the band was able to illicit. Throughout their full ninety minute set Ryan and the gang didn't slow down once, telling stories constantly and letting the crowd experience a little of what went into each and every song written regardless of if it was for their own purposes or to contribute to another artists platform. This was true of "Rumour Has It", a rendition of Rhianna's "Halo" and "Sucker" by the Jonas Brothers, each having their own OneRepublic flair thrown in.
The encore was something just as special, while some of their biggest releases had already come before, OneRepublic still managed to pull out a big moments raising a drink to Melbourne before an emotion driven "Counting Stars" complete with a cello solo finalised the set before a meek chorus of "Wonderwall" saw them off stage and a promise of a 2020 return.