The alt-rock band’s return to the sold-out amphitheater on Wednesday came amid splendid summer weather. Read the review, ogle the photo gallery.
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On a splendid summer’s eve, with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees and endless blue skies above, O.A.R. cranked up the heat for a sold-out Meijer Gardens crowd on Wednesday night.
After the horn-driven Huntertones and rock’s American Authors amped things up early, the veteran Maryland band took the stage to give a genre and career-spanning performance in O.A.R.’s return to the outdoor amphitheater, a show tracing its 20-plus-year career.
Frontman Marc Roberge was as energetic as he’s ever been, and the capacity crowd belted out nearly every word of the acoustic-driven “I Feel Home,” which also featured a smoldering guitar solo from Richard On.
Other highlights of the evening included the upbeat “Hey Girl,” which saw most audience members out of their seats dancing, and the mega radio hit “Shattered (Turn the Car Around),” which had even non-fans somehow recalling the lyrics from their deep sub-conscience.
The group’s horn section was particularly polished, stringing together various instrumentals with a harmonious punch.
A permeating theme throughout the night was peace. From many extended and joyful jams to Roberge’s improvised skat that always seems to tie in the local culture of the place he’s playing, happiness and safety seemed to be at the forefront.
A Bob Marley cover exemplified this when complete strangers dropped everything to belt the words “Stir it up.”
The biggest moment of the night came with the first handful of chords from “Crazy Game of Poker.” An undisputed fan favorite, the song is a runaway jam, depicting the first-person account of a protagonist who has luck that is most unfortunate.
It features the band firing on all cylinders, with most of them taking a pass for a solo. Richard On once again cleaned things up on guitar before Roberge — or rather, the crowd — brought things home with a final bellowing chorus fans won’t soon forget.
PHOTO GALLERY: O.A.R., American Authors, Huntertones at Meijer Gardens
Photos by Derek Ketchum