The chilly winter weather was soon forgotten as the opening act Gangs of Ballet ‘warmed up’ the crowd for the main act. The Durban based band was remarkably comfortable on the big stage and held their own against some of the best in the music industry.
One Republic’s show was a breathe of fresh air. The set was well crafted and included all their hits from ‘Apologise’ to ‘Counting Stars.’ There was a genuine emphasis placed on the musical performance, instead of an excess of special effects onstage. The band members are highly skilled musicians. Front man and superstar Ryan Tedder is happy to share the limelight with his fellow band mates. Standout performances were given by guitarist Zach Filkins and bassist/cellist Brent Kutzle. Filkins had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand while standing alone on stage playing flamenco styled guitar riffs through a loop pedal.
There is no doubt that Tedder is a pop songwriter extraordinaire. He has written and produced for an ever-growing list of pop artists, including Adele (‘Rumour has it’), Leona Lewis (‘Bleeding Love’) and Beyonce (‘Halo’). When it comes to his own band he does not disappoint. One Republic’s anthemic songs will be stuck in your head for days. Tedder is natural entertainer onstage. His energetic vocal performance was right on point and displayed an impressive vocal range.
One Republic has an ability to really connect with the audience during the performance. A portion of the show consisted of the entire band crammed into a small corner at the front of the stage. This performance was more akin to an intimate acoustic set. There was even an impromptu cover of George Ezra’s ‘Budapest’, to which Tedder remarked that he wished he could go back in time to write this particular song.
One Republic delivered on promises to thrill South African audiences. They proved why they are considered one of the top music acts in the world. The band promised to return to South Africa in the future with a new show and album.