OneRepublic In Concert

Ryan Tedder isn't quite the superstar like those that he's written songs for, but his talent and passion are right on par

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

SMART phones have become society's pet peeve, drilling angry thoughts into our minds as we watch the whole coffee shop staring into their glowing screens, drivers tapping away at red (& green) lights, and young'n's snapping misleading selfies every 15 minutes or so.

Serenity now, serenity now!

OneRepublic, with lead singer Ryan Tedder in the middle.

Yes, I know, smart phones have many benefits too, and in fact that's why I brought 'em up! On Wednesday night at Rexall Place, I saw just how beautiful pesky technology can be, as hundreds of concert goers turned on their flash light apps and swayed them in the darkened arena as OneRepublic performed their very first hit "Apologize."

It's a concert staple of course, a modern twist on the flickering liters of yesteryear. But it gets me every time. It was just one of many memorable moments during their 100-minute set that was preceded by opening act Lights (whose set we unfortunately missed out on!).

Ryan Tedder, the band's lead singer, was on top of his game at the show, jumping around the stage with the energy of a pre-teen, running through the excited crowd handing out high fives, and belting out songs that were either familiar to me (like my personal favourite "Good Life," and their biggest hit "Counting Stars"), or will be once I download them on iTunes tonight ("Something I Need," "Secrets")!

I had never paid that much attention to this five-piece pop-rock group from Colorado, but this concert - which was an early Mother's Day gift from my sister and I - gave me a better understanding as to why my mother and 10,000 other audience members care so much. They're pretty damn good!

Ryan Tedder is a lively performer, with the ability to sing, write songs, and play both the guitar and piano!

And that's not just the rum talking...because that aughta be outta my system by now. Nope, it's based on Tedder's humble persona and onstage presence, as well as his ability to pen a pop song like the best of 'em.

In fact, Tedder has penned pop songs for the best of 'em, including Madonna, U2, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Adele, Jennifer Lopez, and Carrie Underwood. That's quite the clientele!

Tedder, who's blonde hair and blue eyes likely doesn't hurt his appeal to certain fans, can perform his songs as well as he can write them, alternating from strumming guitar strings and caressing piano keys at various times during the show.

During the night, they covered George Ezra's "Budapest" and sampled Sam Smith's "Stay With Me," two singer-songwriters Tedder has confessed to envying at times, and I'm sure the feelings are mutual.

OneRepublic's latest album, 'Native.'

He charmed the crowd with his sense of humour as well, revealing that his only other memory of Edmonton was when his grade three girlfriend broke his heart by moving here from his hometown Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"The earliest loss of love," he joked. "I hope she's here...no, I don't."

If she was, there's no denying she's kicking herself right about now.

They closed the show with a soulful rendition of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." For OneRepublic fans that night, yes it was!

"Good Life" by OneRepublic
 

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