Review – One Republic In Toronto

It hard to believe it’s been a decade since One Republic released their first album, Dreaming Out Loud, and it is safe to say people are still going to their shows ten years after. It says a lot about a band that has been touring for over a decade and still can put on a great live show.
They came out batting with a couple of hits, Stop and Stare and Secrets, under a blaring sea of white lights from the pyramid of cranes baring a series of strobes and backing flood lights. Fans stood up from their chairs, in aisles and cheered. The band followed the opening tracks with new songs from their latest album — Oh My My, Kids and Wherever I Go.
Mid-set saw the tempo slow down, Ryan Tedder, lead vocalist, on the piano and Brent Kutzle, bassist, on the cello, sat down for an acoustic version of Beyonce’s Halo which added a nice intermission to the first half of the set. “Coming Home” was a nice reprieve from the louder songs, a song Ryan touchingly dedicated to his friend, a green beret of the special forces, and his engaged wife at the time, who told him that he might not come back from another tour of duty in Iraq.  
The loudest applause came after “I Lived”, and followed later by their hit “Apologize” off their first album which started off soft with Ryan at the piano then interspersed by thundering drum beats and fans repeating the chorus, “It’s too late to apologize”. For those that do not know, Zach Filkins is also a mean flamenco guitarist, playing a short interlude before “Apologize”, it got me reminiscing about Rodrigo y Gabriela a few months back when they played Toronto.
Probably the most important moment in the night was when Ryan after introducing his bandmates mentioned “what had been on his mind all night”, the senseless violence and racism that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, involving white supremacist/nationalist against anti-protesters. He was passionate about what he said, calling “racism a disease, disgusting and vile” and denouncing the violence, bigotry and xenophobia before continuing on with the show. I couldn’t help looking over the crowd and it was not surprising to see a mosaic of different ages, backgrounds, race and color. It goes to show that there is no room here for hate and the great thing about music is that it sometimes brings people together as one.  
The show ended with a three song encore, “Counting Stars”, Adele’s “Rumour Has it”, and ending it off with “Love Run Outs”, followed by streams of confetti and a deserving standing ovation.