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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Singapore F1: One Republic celebrates its 10th birthday with 50,000 people in after race concert

Led by Ryan Tedder, the group begin their Asian tour with a solid set highlight new album Oh My My

One Republic perform during practice for the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore. Brendon Thorne / Singapore GP via Getty Images
One Republic perform during practice for the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore. Brendon Thorne / Singapore GP via Getty Images

The Singapore F1 kicked off its entertainment programme with the first of a series of concerts held as part of the racing weekend.

In a move similar to the Abu Dhabi F1 in November, the Singapore event also has weekend after race concerts running from Friday to Saturday, in addition to two pre-race concerts to be held on Sunday before the main event.

Over 50,000 race ticket holders attended the opening concert by pop-rockers One Republic, who used their Singapore date to kick off their latest Asian tour.

Held at The Padang, a large open field in the downtown district, the crowd braved humid conditions to see the Colorado five piece deliver a solid and uplifting set.

One Republic’s latest world tour has been a long time coming. Beginning in July, it comes after the band cancelled all touring commitments last November, a month after the release of their latest album, Oh My My, citing exhaustion.

“We just felt tired,” explained frontman Ryan Tedder to the crowd.

“We just felt that we needed to get away and spent time with our families and friends. But a few months later we realised we missed being with our fans and visiting beautiful places such as this.”

One Republic performs on the Padang Stage in Singapore. Mark Kolbe / Singapore GP via Getty Images
One Republic performs on the Padang Stage in Singapore. Mark Kolbe / Singapore GP via Getty Images

While the disjointed touring dented the album’s commercial’s performance, it gave fans time to soak up what is a fine release.

The tracks Tedder and co dropped from Oh My My represented the bolder and full bodied sounds of the album.

The lead single Where I Ever Go gets an extra disco stomp live with Tedder’s falsetto immaculate as ever. The directness of Let’s Hurt Tonight proves that by stripping away all that sonic gloss, One Republic is essentially a straight forward rock band.

Kids is another track that benefited from the live treatment. While boasting some adventurous song arrangements, the added grit from the band’s three guitar attack allowed it to sound more than a Coldplay imitation.

While the group’s big hits were there, such as driving Stop and Stare and the soulful Apologize, the concert’s best moment came when Tedder, on the piano, performed a small intimate mini set with minimal accompaniment.

With the Singapore F1 and the band both celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Tedder marked the event by performing a set of songs he wrote and co-wrote for others.

Even if you are not the biggest One Republic fan, there is no doubt that Tedder is a seriously talented and successful tunesmith.

After performing a gospel styled version of Beyoncé’s Halo, he launched into a more delicate take of Ed Sheeran’s Happier (“this is how the demo sounded,” he said in the introduction) and a slightly wonky take on Adele’s Rumour Has It.

With such success eclipsing his work with One Republic, you can be forgiven to think if the group is essentially good part-time job for Tedder. Either way, as long as he is in charge of the songs you know the band will be around for another ten years.

The Singapore F1 concert series continues over the weekend at the Padang; Saturday night will see pop-princess Ariana Grande taking the stage after the racing action. While Sunday will boast pre-race concerts from vintage British pop acts Duran Duran and Seal before Scottish DJ (and future Abu Dhabi F1 concert headliner) Calvin Harris closes it off with a post-race performance.

Stay tuned to Arts and Culture for all the latest music action from the Singapore F1.

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