O.A.R.: There are few things pure in this world anymore
O.A.R. came back to their hometown with one purpose: to give their loyal fans a show that truly says, “My friends are here. A couple years I’ve spent, I found I have a second home.” Their Wednesday night show at the LC brought them back to the city that has inspired their music and to the fans that have stuck with them since their jam band days.
The venue was packed with loyal fans that immediately started an O-H-I-O chant before the band even stepped foot on stage. Everyone could feel the energy building and unfortunately it was not for the opening act Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. However, this band came on stage with a purpose, and it was clearly conquered.
Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers started the show with a set of songs that mixed a little twang, a little rock, and a gentle easiness that kept the fans engaged. The five-man band rocked the stage in vests, scarves, and skinny jeans to match their shaggy hair and east coast demeanor. They have a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers kind of vibe that kept the loyal O.A.R. fans on their feet and clapping to the beat. Their introduction was a great show, and it won’t be surprising if in the next year they are the headline show and a band is opening for them.
“I heard that Columbus O.A.R. fans are hard to play for, but I think ‘hard to play’ for just means loyal,” Kellogg said. That little testimony won over the hearts of the audience and some were probably becoming loyal to the Sixers after their set.
Of A Revolution came on stage without even giving the fans a chance to get ready. They played for forty-five minutes straight before Marc Roberge even spoke to the audience and his first words were “Thank you Columbus.” A band that dedicated to their city is determined to put on a show that will keep the beer cold and the crowd moving and that is exactly what O.A.R. did.
Instead of chanting the bands name like most fans, the crowd erupted into another O-H-I-O chant, which the band happily joined in on. They love Ohio State as much as any other alumni and they are not going to let their school down. The lights showcased the multiple instruments of the band from Jerry DePizzo on the saxophone to two back-up singers and musicians on the trombone and trumpet.
From their first song to their last, O.A.R. was that same jam band that everyone created their first mix CD with in high school. They
were that band that was blasted on the beach during spring break, and the band that got every party broken up because “Crazy Game of Poker” became a scream-fest of drunkenness. Roberge took control of the stage and sang to Columbus as if he was singing to the love of his life. Passion and devotion poured out of the band as saxophone solo after drum solo after guitar solo was produced with perfection on stage.
The crowed went wild whenever the band started playing the beginning to chords to their older songs such as “Hey Girl” and “Crazy Game of Poker.” They also pledged their allegiance when newer songs such as “Love and Memories” and “Back to One” were rocked on stage.
The band was at home and everyone could tell. It was as if they were playing in their garage and pretending they were in Madison Square Garden playing to the biggest crowd of their life. Fans of all ages were screaming/singing along to the lyrics and proved to the band that they were only there for them. O.A.R. played Columbus they way it should be played: pure and at home.
Samantha Stanich/Columbus Wired