OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder is known for giving it his all during live performances. From his incredible sets on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live to literally making thousands of people burst into tears with his beautiful vocal range, he always brings it in front of a real crowd.
He and his band mates didn’t disappoint last night at their only performance in Hong Kong this year at AsiaWorld-Expo. Opting to mainly go with a mixture of their most popular songs, fans got what they came for and were cheering them on all night.
Everyone sang along to crowd favourite Apologise, which once again showcased their mastery of building on a simple piano chord with clear vocal highlights. Who can resist trying to hit that high note, when hundreds of others are doing the exact same thing (and can hide your horrible singing?).
There was also a memorable cover of Ed Sheeran’s Happier (which Tedder co-wrote) that gave band cellist Brent Kutzle a chance to show off his controlled vibrato with the bow. Tedder’s considerable skills at the ivories were also on display as he sang and played his heart out as an homage to his friend and collaborator.
Special effects were on par with what you would expect for such a large-scale spectacle. Coordinated laser lighting, special real-time visual effects on two large screens, and even a “storm” of glittery confetti paper were competently delivered by the backstage team.
Banter is a key part of any live performance, and Tedder hammed it up for the local crowd by adding the obligatory (yet still cringe-inducing) bits of Putonghua to his repertoire, and telling a few well-worn jokes. It was fine, but the music was definitely better.
The concert ended with a bang, as the bass-heavy, dance-inducing number Love Runs Out was belted out by the adoring audience and had everyone jumping. Hearing OneRepublic live in concert really is an experience that any true fan should try to have. MP3s at home are fine, but you just can’t get that raw, visceral, tingling feeling in your body unless you’re there.