Of A Revolution (O.A.R.) at the Tweeter Center on August 10

A review of Of A Revolution (O.A.R.) at the Tweeter Center on August 10, 2008

, Staff

Of A Revolution’s summer tour drove through a near-capacity crowd at the Tweeter Center on Friday night, delivering one of the band’s more memorable performances in the area. Though off and on rain put a damper on parking lot festivities beforehand, nothing could extinguish the energy and excitement radiating from the stage once O.A.R arrived.&

With a set running just under two hours, the boys from Maryland did just enough to please both new and old fans. Opener “City On Down” immediately set the tone for the rest of the evening as frontman Marc Roberge asked the fans, “Tonight, we can be united, right?” He was immediately answered with a thunderous applause from the faithful Boston crowd. Not long after, an extended version of “Black Rock” shook the crowd as red lights flooded the stage and Roberge shouted, “Blood!” followed by a request to “turn all this blood into love.”

“I Feel Home” was greeted with a sea of lighters and cell phone screens, while classic fan-favorite “Crazy Game of Poker, ” which jammed on for well over 10-minutes, was the best rendition in recent years in front of a Boston crowd.

The band is still touring in support of their 2005 release, Stories Of A Stranger, and subsequently played a handful of tunes off their mainstream breakthrough including “One Shot,” “Daylight the Dog,” and “Program Director.”& The album’s latest single “Heard The World” left the band with grins on their faces, as Roberge led a frenzied sing-along with the devoted crowd. Afterward he thanked the fans, saying, “Some nights…this is a job. But tonight, this shit is just fun.”

Fan favorite “Hey Girl” closed out the main set before a two-song encore started with “Love and Memories.” Roberge then invited openers Augustana and Stephen Kellogg on stage for a surprising and equally impressive rendition of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider,” citing the inspiration came from when Boston native Kellogg told him stories of seeing the Alman Brothers’ shows at Great Woods before their show.

Augustana preceded O.A.R., playing for a sparse crowd and falling well beneath expectations. It didn’t help that they road tested four new songs from their forthcoming album and tracks off their debut album, Stars and Boulevards, just didn’t cut live. A blown guitar solo hurt opener “Mayfield” while “Stars and Boulevards” seemed to be out of tune. Smash hit “Boston” was thoroughly embraced by the crowd, but other than that single moment of glory, it was tough to decipher whether or not even enjoying being there. They certainly have been hitting the road hard, their show at Avalon this past winter faired much better, so some time off in the studio may be just what the need right now.

Opener Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers delivered a brief but solid set, closing with a fun rendition of “Decades Medley”, a lengthy piece that borrows lyrics from songs throughout the ages including the Ghostbusters theme song, “Great Balls of Fire,” “In Da Club,” and “Girlfriend,” and many others.

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