O.A.R. Practices ‘Unity Through Diversity’ at the House of Blues

Posted by    |    October 18th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

This past Sunday night, the House of Blues main stage was the perfect setting for the band O.A.R., or the less print friendly way to say their name, ‘Of A Revolution’.

Issac Tigrett had a mission in mind when he founded the House of Blues in 1992: to promote racial and spiritual harmony through love, peace, truth, righteousness and non-violence. If you’re a fan of O.A.R., or you attended Sunday night’s concert, you would know their music and live shows promote the same ‘unity through diversity’ message. They could be the poster child for the House of Blues, much like Hank Williams Jr. is for Monday Night Football. (Too soon?)

O.A.R. took the stage with song “Dangerous Connection” off their new album, King. A nice opener that led into “About An Hour Ago,” one of the band’s more recognizable songs: a classic party anthem. The party was on.

The peace, love and unity message continued on through the next song, “City on Down,” as the crowd sang along to the lyrics, ‘In the end my friend we will all be together again clutching onto my hand in a way I did not know, but now we can all be united.’

I was excited to hear some of the songs from their new album, as my music appreciation usually increases after hearing them live. In fact, lead singer Marc Roberge said Sunday night was the first time to perform the songs “Heavy Heart” and “Back to One” live.

The two performances that stood out the most were “Heaven” and “Over and Over.” “Heaven” serves as the centerpiece for the new album, an emotion-themed song with a classic O.A.R. reggae -style that manages to keep you dancing. That’s right, I said dancing; if you go to an O.A.R. concert you better be ready to dance. (Unless you’re that guy.)

Now back to “Over and Over”: the band started their encore with Roberge and keyboardist Mikel Paris coming out alone and performing the piano ballad. A definite change of pace from the other energy-driven performances, but a beautiful song that shows the band’s maturity coming off their 7th studio recorded album.

The party ended with O.A.R.’s greatest party jam, “That was a Crazy Game of Poker,” a fitting way to end any good time.

‘One good thing about music is when it hits you, you feel no pain,’ Roberge sang a lyric borrowed from Bob Marley (not the rapper Drake). It’s a line that certainly holds true when you attend an O.A.R. concert. You don’t think about traffic, endless piles of paperwork you have to battle the next day, or the times you needed to listen to “Shattered” on repeat after your boyfriend dumped you.

Instead it’s about Peace. Harmony. Truth. Love. And when that hits you, you feel no pain.

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