Concert Reviews

OneRepublic at Gexa Energy Pavilion, 8/26/14

OneRepublic With Christina Perri and Jamie Scott Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It was a typical midsummer show at Gexa Energy Pavilion last night as pop stars OneRepublic hit town. Even late into the night, it was hot -- temperatures hung in the 90s -- and the old Stardust just compounded things by trapping the heat inside. Yet that and the fact that it was a school night didn't seem to stop people from nearly packing the place.

Ryan Tedder, lead singer of OneRepublic, took notice, too. "I grew up about 200 miles north of here, so I know what it means to hang out at the end of August," Tedder said in solidarity with the sweating throngs of concertgoers. Fortunately, in return Tedder's vocal chops were better than expected. After some award show flubs, his pitch was on point and it was not lost on the audience, as they applauded the more difficult notes.

Along with his understanding attitude, Tedder's vocal chops were better than expected. After some award show flubs, his pitch was on point and it was not lost on the audience, as they applauded the more difficult notes.

When he wasn't singing, Tedder and his band were performing at a high energy. Many of the songs saw the band members switching instruments, and just from song-to-song but within the songs themselves. For instance, during "Stop and Stare," Tedder played the acoustic guitar, which kicked off the song. During "Apologize," Tedder played the piano and about halfway through, he switched to cover Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" before finally jumping back to finish OneRepublic's 2006 hit. And during "All the Right Moves" and "What You Wanted," one of the guitar players switched swiftly to playing the cello.

When the lights dimmed during "Preacher," it gave the show an intimate feel, and yet the atmosphere of the night was lacking in places. Namely, with no pit and no stage extending into the audience at Gexa, it was awkward anytime Tedder wanted to move closer to his fans. He did walk down some of the outer aisles, but only those seated on the end of a row got a chance at seeing him. Even the camera filming for the big-screen projections couldn't get a decent shot of him.

The band didn't always help things, either. The transition between songs took a little too long, often lingering and forcing some fans to sit down before the next song would play. Even more curious, however, the decision to perform "Counting Stars" in the middle of the setlist. Along with "Apologize," the song is OneRepublic's highest-charting single, having peaked at No. 2 in 2013. "Counting Stars" has been a radio favorite this summer and, not surprisingly, the crowd sang and danced along to it. But it wasn't the band's encore. It seemed like the peak of the show, so it was odd to play it in the middle.

Instead, the encore was "Love Runs Out," another summer favorite and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." After a lively song like "Love Runs Out," the mood was brought back down during the cover. Finally, the band closed with confetti and "If I Lose Myself," but not before thanking their opening act, Christina Perri, and the fans.

Setlist: "Light It Up" "Secret" "All the Right Moves" "What You Wanted" "Stop and Stare" "Something I Need" "Apologize"/"Stay With Me" "Preacher" "Come Home" "Counting Stars" "Can't Stop" "Au Revoir" "Feel Again" "Good Life" "I Lived"

Encore: "Love Runs Out" "What a Wonderful World" "If I Lose Myself"

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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner