Ryan Tedder has worked with some of the biggest names in music. Adele, Beyoncé, U2, The Killers, Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding… the list goes on. While he’s been selling off hits or making other people’s songs sound better, he also fronts pop-rock group OneRepublic, who, while pretty big now, are yet to match the astronomical success his songwriting has achieved for other parties.
Tonight at the Apple Music Festival, the audience makes it clear that they don’t care about that. There are regular screams of “I love you!” from all corners and people of all ages and each song is created with shrieks of enthusiasm. Tedder looks like he’s having a grand old time and pulls out every pop star move he can think of – it takes him until the end of first song ‘Love Runs Out’ to jump on top of the upright piano with effortless ease.
The band have a new album coming out next month in ‘Oh My My’ and they’ve chosen tonight to preview a few of its tracks. Falsetto stormer ‘Wherever I Go’ is first, followed shortly by ‘Let’s Hurt Tonight’, a rousing, epic ballad that has the frontman begging “They say love is pain/Well, darling, let’s love tonight” over crashing cymbals.
Before debut single and one of their biggest hits ‘Apologize’, the whole band walk off stage as the Roundhouse is drenched in red light. Tedder returns and settles himself at the piano to play the track solo, rejoined halfway through by cellist Brent Kutzle. After it’s done, Kutzle picks up a guitar and starts picking slow, melancholy notes as his singer begins introducing next track ‘Good Life’. Also from ‘Oh My My’, he explains how they wrote it after recording at Abbey Road and getting emotional after growing up loving “The Beatles, Oasis, Doves and pretty much every British band”. He notes that it’s cliché to write a song about band life being a good life and the song that follows is full of cheese that backs that up, all lines namechecking the iconic studio and how the band got to Piccadilly.
The Mumfords-y stomp of ‘Counting Stars’ brings with it a giant burst of ticker tape from either side of the stage. It’s followed by new song ‘Future Looks Good’, which Tedder says they wrote in Rio a year and a day ago, explaining its carnival spirit. ‘I Lived’ is prefaced by the singer elucidating on how much of a life of its own it’s taken on, now the soundtrack to weddings, graduations and more according to his estimations. After a cover of Al Green’s ‘What A Wonderful World’, the set comes to a close with the Alesso remix of ‘If I Lose Myself’, complete with the full band on big drums and an explosion of red glitter, maxing out the euphoria levels for one big finale.