OneRepublic wow with Avicii tribute, renditions of Counting Stars and Beyoncé's Halo in maiden India gig
In one of the most magical moments of the night, OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder broke into a stirring rendition of Avicii's 'Wake Me Up', assuring the Swedish DJ's Indian fans that it's going to be okay. As fans of the Swedish DJ woke up to the terrible news of his untimely demise in Oman, some still managed to be there at the The National Sports Club of India, Mumbai to watch American pop-rock band OneRepublic's maiden India performance on 21 April.
After Mumbai-based band ONEmpire performed a cover of Coldplay's 'A Sky Full Of Stars', OneRepublic took to the stage. The Grammy-nominated quintet, comprising Tedder, Brent Kutzle, Zach Filkins, Eddie Fisher and Drew Brown, went on to perform a one-hour-long set. The gig was kick-started with 'Stop and Stare', a mass favourite from their 2007 debut studio album Dreaming out Loud, principally to mark 10 years of their musical journey. The single is important because it cemented them as a burgeoning pop-rock ensemble and eventually led to their album getting certified platinum.
What followed was a set comprising songs from their four albums — Dreaming Out Loud, Native, Waking Up and Oh My My. The evening was marked by several distinct moments, of which the most notable was the emo kids of the '90s once surrendering themselves to 'Apologize' and 'Secrets' again (also regarded as the songs that put a whole generation to sleep after terrible, terrible break-ups). Then there were the rich kids of Mumbai, impeccable in their sneakers, snapbacks and crop tops, swaying to 'Wherever I Go', 'Better' and 'Lose Myself', songs from the band's 2013 and 2016 albums. However, it was not just a show for the millennials. The boomers with their overflowing cups, cheered on, proving that OneRepublic is not just for one demographic.
And then it happened. Tedder casually walked towards the piano and started playing a familiar tune. He is playing 'Halo', Queen Bee's pop power ballad. And does it work? It does and how. Now OneRepublic is not particularly known for their covers as it is something they have started attempting recently during live shows. However, the moment Tedder finishes singing Beyonce and starts doing a piano cover of 'Wake Me Up', you know this is a night of covers and 'Wake Me Up' is the song of the night. It was almost like the crowd huddled together to remember the DJ with a photo of a smiling Avicii on the screens, watching over. "Avicii. 1989-2018". Are these actual tears or is it the confetti?
As the evening progressed, you could tell that one thing that Tedder and Co had one mission: To make every single person in the audience feel like they were performing for them and to make India believe, that they were here and they were glad. Apart from wearing a T-shirt that read "South Bombay snob", Tedder struggled with a few Hindi words. He managed to say "shukriya", asked the audience, "kaise ho?" and followed it up with an answer of his own: "Bohot badhiya".
Shortly after, Tedder stepped into the platinum arena, unaffected by the number of phones shoved in his face. Needless to say, the crowd went nuts. At this very moment, it was hard to not feel bad for the band considering the number of vacant seats in the silver area. The band's collective effort to gel with the audience was a break from the usual lot of American artists who cannot stop raving about 'Indian culture' and 'Indian cuisine'. Ironically, minutes after their gig, they are back on their private jet.
The evening ended with the crowd repeatedly chanting 'Counting Stars', the band's 2013 earworm. OneRepublic obliged and sung their most viral song till date, which they had carefully reserved for the end. You could tell that if they were Coldplay, this song would be their 'Paradise'.
Updated Date: Apr 23, 2018 12:53 PM