LIVE: OneRepublic – Apple Music Festival, The Roundhouse, Camden – 21.09.16

The Apple Music Festival is one of London’s most anticipated annual events. No strangers to the festival are the wickedly popular, and kings of catchy, OneRepublic. They played the festival in 2012, but apparently just once wasn’t enough for the boys.

Over the years their style has shifted and bounced between pop and rock, between shyness and showmanship, and they have achieved immersive international success after being among the first of modern artists to be discovered via social networking.

To them the Camden Roundhouse is an old buddy, with frontman Ryan Tedder announcing that the venue was where the band played their first big sellout concert in the UK.

The first half of the night delights the crowd with some of the band’s most popular hits, including ‘Wherever I go’, ‘Love Runs Out’, and ‘All The Right Moves’. Every track highlights Tedder’s incredibly engaging and impressive range and stamina with what are all vocally demanding songs. The band play with mirrored skill and focus, and take full advantage of the venue’s unmatched acoustics.

A new track, ‘Let’s Hurt Tonight’, is an unexpected highlight with it’s heavy drum base and fist clench feeling. The track will feature on the band’s upcoming album, Oh My My, which will be available on October 7th. (And I for one will certainly be waiting with anticipation).

Midway through the show, Tedder sits at the piano and plays solo for the crowds. The dramatic smashing of the piano keys and almost eerie setting actually reminds me of the Lady Gaga Born This Way Ball era. This beautiful and gripping pianism leads the way into ‘Apologise’, the song that brought OneRepublic to our attention way back in 2007 thanks to producer Timbaland. This version however is stripped down and accompanied only by a cello. Oh, and the backing choir of a 1,500 strong audience of course.

More hits follow: ‘Counting Stars’, ‘Kids’, ‘I Lived’, ‘Future Looks Good’. To say that there’s a “feel good” atmosphere is a gross understatement. As I look around, everyone is laughing, smiling, dancing. These guys have the art of infectious enthusiasm down to a fine art.

At the climax of the evening in a curveball of a move, Tedder stands up and performs “the song I wish most that I had written”; ‘What A Wonderful World’. It’s sung beautifully and the crowd continue to sing along unfazed by the shift in pace.

‘If I Lose Myself’ brings the night to an upbeat and brilliant end. The buzz across the room is hard to ignore. Over the past nine years OneRepublic have gone from unknown support to sell out headliners. It’s hard to not enjoy what they have to offer. The faultless vocals of Ryan Tedder, the passion and perfection of the band, and already a repertoire of incredible hits.

This is one republic that’s fast becoming an empire.

Ashley Powys