OAR brings frat party to Boston

A review of OAR at the Bank of America Pavilion on August 13, 2009

, Managing Editor

You know you’re heading to a college show when the venue smells like a frat house and you pass a kid in a backwards baseball cap puking his guts out by a barrell outside. My apologies for the imagery but when you have a college following it comes with the territory. Of A Revolution, or better known as O.A.R., is one of those bands synonymous with the college music scene. Seeing as it’s summer,& the Ohio State grads have taken to ampitheathers instead of universities, including two nights at the Bank of America Pavilion.

The weekend started early for many kids on Thursday night and as you may have guessed from the scene before, the crowd was a bit rowdy. Fans, and I use that term loosely, talked constantly throughout the show, even during some of the songs. It makes one wonder if they were there for the music or the party. However, many of their songs spawned sing-alongs which made it clear that there were a number of true fans in the house. These fans were most likely quite pleased with the appearance of some rarities on the setlist.

The band opened with an old one in “The Wanderer” before playing the rarely appearing “Something Coming Over” and the even rarer “Someone in the Road”. The latter segued into “Whose Chariot?” via a bass interlude. Saxophone player Jerry DePizzo, the force that drives their jamming, ripped a solo as the rest of the band let loose as well.

A red curtain then came down where lead singer Marc Roberge took a seat in front of it for an acoustic “I Feel Home”. Guitarist Richard On joined midway through the song for a solo to be followed by the rest of the band who reappeared for a short acoustic set. Cozily huddled together at center stage they managed to drown out the noisy crowd with “What is Mine?”, off their newest album All Sides, which had a rocking reggae groove despite it’s acoustic performance. The ladies were then screaming with joy as the first notes to “Hey Girl” were strum.

They ended their acoustic set with another new track, “On My Way” as a new backdrop was revealed featuring four video screens. They got right back into the swing of things with “Shattered (Turn the Car Around)” but tripped up soon after with “Love Is Worth The Fall”, the song they wrote for the annoyingly popular film “Twilight”. They spoke about the experience of writing for the film to a mix of cheers and boos and only lost more respect with images of roses blooming on the screens to cap off the lame-fest. Doing a complete 180 they followed it with “War Song”, which they dedicated to the troops after talking about their experience of playing for the soldiers in 2007 (It’s a good thing they didn’t play their “Twilight” song for the troops or they may have been hit by “friendly fire”). They somewhat redeemed themselves with an intense rock-out ending with Roberge screaming “Oh My God!” at the top of his lungs.

All was then forgiven as O.A.R played their cards right with “That Was A Crazy Game of Poker”, having the fans dancing and then grooving as it segued into Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”. Returning for the encore they kept the reggae going with “Dareh Meyod”. Roberge then borrowed a lucky fan’s camera and took pictures of the band as well as the crowd throwing up their rock hands before closing out the night with “City On Down”.

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