OneRepublic @ Birmingham Academy – 3rd October 2008


The night of the last date in a UK/European tour can only mean one thing for a top US band…a showstopping performance.
But the radio-friendly quintet OneRepublic disappointed by dragging out their introduction to the stage of Birmingham’s Academy for far too long.
After a chilled out start from Oxford indie lads A Silent Film, and a slow set from Nottingham-based band Headway, who sounded like they came straight off the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack, it was clear the audience was ready for OneRepublic to just get on the stage to belt out those radio anthems that we have all come to know and love.
But we waited and waited.


Then, when the lights dropped and music got louder, with rapturous screams and applause the audience bounced back to life — but to no avail. The lights may have dropped but all the crowd got was an empty stage and a remix of The Killers club classic ‘Mr Brightside’.
When the band eventually came onstage the audience still weren’t so sure if this time it was real or it was just the roadies soundchecking.
But it was and the cheers started again but unfortunately even their opening track proved a bit of a let down.


Expecting them to open with one of their big singles such as the heartwrenching ‘Apologize’ or the powerful ‘Stop and Stare’ the audience seemed confused of their choice to open with a unknown, quiet, sombre song which included the lyrics “Can you feel all the love?”
But I’m not so sure the audience was, with them starting the show this way, but luckily the pace soon picked up.
Soulful front man Ryan Tedder had all the gals screaming and everyone struggling to see over a sea of camera phones when he immediately went into the band’s emotive third single ‘Say (All I need)’.
But unlike most radio-friendly pop-rock acts OneRepublic do have the talent to blow you away — once they get going.
They continued to impress with everybody’s favourite ‘Stop and Stare’, which definitely loosened the crowd up, including me, followed by the UK-insprired track ‘All Fall Down’, which has a real Oasis/The Verve sound to it with the use of acoustic guitar and the cello.


Keeping up with a UK-style sound they moved into ‘Tyrant’, a darker sounding OneRepublic song which really gets you thinking about what kind of genre this band really is?
One minute they are pop/rock blended with a hip-hop beat, the next they have a very distinct indie sound — but that’s what sets them apart from their radio-friendly chums such as Maroon 5, they are far more distinctive and original.
They played my favourite song ‘Goodbye Apathy’, which Tedder explained ‘was a song for those who have ever been to school.’


By this point the band had clearly got into the swing of it and so had the crowd as they continued with a new un-named song, a rendition of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ and ‘For What It’s Worth’ by Buffalo Springfield from the Forest Gump soundtrack, before going back into the amazing first single ‘Apologize’ and then ‘Someone To Save You’.
Heading off the stage for a quick break the guys came back to perform ‘Come Home’ a song Tedder explained was about as buddy of his who was shipped off to Iraq two weeks after getting engaged, and the album title track ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ before finishing with ‘All We Are’.


And the end of the set Tedder explained how guitarist Drew Brown went and had a tattoo of a Fun ‘O Meter on his arm and a arrow on his finger which meant he could always tell people how much fun he was having on a scale of 1 to 11.
Apparently his experience in Birmingham was an 11.
OneRepublic, in my opinion, were an 8.

Set List:

Unknown intro
Say (All I Need)
Stop and Stare
All Fall Down
Goodbye Apathy
New Song
Crazy (cover)
For What It’s Worth (cover)
Someone To Save You
Come Home
Dreaming Out Loud
All We Are

Review — Emma Black
Photos – Keith West

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4 thoughts on “OneRepublic @ Birmingham Academy – 3rd October 2008

  1. hi there,i was at that gig on friday 3rd oct,i was at the front right in front of the main mic,i so looked forward to it,as a fan of onerepublic,and it was the first time i’d saw them live,and,reading your review of the night,i do agree with some points you pointed out,It was confusing to open with an unknown song,i think they definatley should have started with their most famous for song appologize,and skipped “crazy” by narls barkley,that sounded very novice and rough i thought, but after settling in to the flow of it all ,i think ryan loosened up a little to belt out some tunes we all knew and sang along to,like stop and stare,I in all enjoyed it,and felt overwhelmed to be just inches away from ryan. i definatley would see them againbut they should stick to the songs THEY have on their catalogue,and skip the covers! ps…cheers keith for letting me take pictures with you head on!!! ha ha !!

  2. Sorry guys, disagree. I was revieweing the gig for a different publication and thought the covers were very good!
    I’m not a fan myself but the way they enjoyed themselves so much impressed me! Not bad I thought!
    Also, how good were Headway?!!

  3. i think onerepublic was brillianti loved every moment of them loved all the songs also loved the covers i was right by the stage and took loads of photos and videos can;t wait for them to tour again i will be going to see them !!!! id give then 10/10 they was great

  4. Hi,

    Just read your comment about the show and I don’t agree at all. The start was not dragged out! The guys were out of this world that night and I enjoyed every minute of it. The support acts were great too. You are obviously not a big fan to say something like that!

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