O.A.R. impresses audiences with a setlist completely chosen by their fans.
Of A Revolution, better known by the acronym O.A.R., is a rock band from Maryland. First formed in 1996, O.A.R just released their 14th album, and embarked on their latest tour, The Merry XXmas Wish List Tour, which allows fans to take control over the setlist and choose which songs they’d like to hear.
Consisting of a total of five band members and two touring members, O.A.R. is a band that values instrumentals just as much and maybe more than their vocals, with solos occurring in almost every song throughout the night and with every instrument, as well as instrumentals lasting almost 15 minutes.
The crowd filled in quickly, gearing up to hear the band perform. At the first glimpse of O.A.R., the large crowd erupted in applause as fans began holding up “rock and roll” signs and the band began to play. The crowd was deafening as they sang along to every song played, sometimes even sounding louder than lead singer, Marc Roberge, himself.
As this tour’s setlist was chosen by the crowd, many people brought signs with names of songs on them in hopes of the band seeing and playing the song. At one point, Roberge did notice them even stating how one person was holding up an iPhone flashlight to their sign which made him say, “Now we have to play it,” which they did during an encore.
O.A.R ended their energetic set with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s classic “Born to Run.” This classic, immediately recognized by the audience, was sung as loud as can be as fans sang along. After finishing, Roberge said to the crowd, “It’s nerve-wracking to play a song like that, especially in New Jersey!”
When he first returned to the stage for an encore, Roberge welcomed musician Robert Randolph from Robert Randolph and the Family Band to the stage, calling him “a friend of the band for almost 15 years.” Randolph then appeared dressed in yellow glow in the dark heart shaped sunglasses, along with a lollipop in his mouth as he set up his pedal steel guitar. As Randolph began to play, members of O.A.R. sat down and watched in awe and pure respect of Randolph’s talent. As others began to join in with Randolph, the instrumentals lasted a total of almost 15 minutes.
The star of the night had to be the horns section. Made up of saxophonist, Jerry DePizzo and trumpeter, Jon Lampley. Through their frequent solos in almost every song, they had the crowd dancing all night. Their enthusiasm could be felt from everyone, on stage and off, as their smiles from stage brought smiles to those in the crowd as well.
O.A.R.’s music has lasted through the times, with songs like “Black Rock” and “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” from their first album, The Wanderer, are still fan favorites that are played at almost every show, including Saturday’s show. Their music has proven itself again and again, and they still gain new fans all the time.
“This was an absolutely amazing concert, despite not having the chance to listen to much of their music prior,” said new fan, Kira Edgar. “Their style was a refreshing blend of rock, jazz and pop, and their performance was exemplary when paired with a great venue such as The Wellmont Theater. I’m definitely going to listen to more O.A.R. soon.”