It’s been 2 years since OneRepublic has toured and judging by the size of the crowd at the Darien Lake Amphitheater, fans have been anxiously awaiting their return to the stage. Not surprising with the number of hit singles this band has produced over the years. Their front man and songwriter, Ryan Tedder, maintained a continuous banter with the audience and made it clear that Buffalo held a special place in his heart. “The first show we ever did as a band, where we left the state of California, our first paid gig, where we got on a plane and flew anywhere, was Buffalo, NY. It was 10 years ago this month.”
The positive energy that flowed freely through the amphitheater was perceptible, the crowd couldn’t help get caught up in the feel good vibes that Tedder was putting out. There was a definite air of humility that was immediately noticeable from the band. Although Tedder is an award winning songwriter and music producer, having penned and produced songs for artist such as Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, Ed Sheeran and Zedd, there was nothing pretentious or condescending about him or his fellow bandmates. While in control of the microphone and basically the mouth piece for the band, he made a point of introducing each member and producing some sort of anecdote that ingratiated the band even more with the audience. He made a point of mentioning that one of the band member’s entire family lived in Rochester, a city less than 60 miles away. This won the band a roar of screams and applause.
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The band played a steady flow of songs that were definite favorites amongst the crowd such as “Secrets”, “Good Life”, “I Lived” and “Wherever I Go”. Each song was met with pandemonium. Mid-show, Tedder changed things up a bit by playing a number of songs on the piano, minus the band. Informing the crowd that he not only wrote or co-wrote all of OneRepublic’s songs, he also wrote for other artists. He proceeded to play a number of songs that were all familiar to most people in attendance such as “Halo” (recorded by Beyoncé) and “Happier” (co-written with and recorded by Ed Sheeran). The firework show in the background from the nearby amusement park, added just a little extra magic to the already thrilling show.
Their encore of “Counting Stars” ushered in the highlight of the night and added just more proof of what an incredible and humble group of musician this band really was. Tedder, decided during the show, that he wanted to give away his guitar to a member of the audience. He said that starting that night, he would do this at every show. “I am a firm believer that one person, with one thought, with one experience, with one guitar, can be almost anything on earth.” He then selected a little 8 year old boy he noticed earlier, who he believed that this was his first concert and gave him the guitar. Heralded as the undercover king of pop, Tedder, is new modern day role model and a modern day superhero to a new generation of music lovers.