‘One Republic’ with Serena Ryder and Mayer Hawthorne at Wolf Trap by Erica Laxson

Wolf Trap’s stunning architecture and wooded location set the perfect stage the popular group One Republic from Colorado Springs who felt right at home on the main stage and in front of their adoring fans of all ages. These skilled musicians from the Rockies now how to put on a beautiful show and deliver everything their fans crave and more. One Republic live is wonderful visual and auditory ride through their musical hearts and minds that can only bring you closer to the meaning of their hit songs – while you can’t help but dance your heart out.

Serena Ryder.
Serena Ryder.

Opening act Serena Ryder filled the Filene Center with breathtakingly beautiful pipes that earned a well-deserved standing ovation. Her crystal clear voice was a delight to listen to on such a beautiful evening and it’s a shame she didn’t get to be on stage longer. Both her voice and her lyrics were strong and full of emotion, yet anything but over the top. Both throaty and dripping with honey, Ryder makes you feel her love of music in every well-constructed word and polished note.

Mayer Hawthorne.
Mayer Hawthorne.

The second opening act of the evening, Mayer Hawthorne, brought a mixture of funk and techno to the evening that was a completely unique sound. Though I expected to like his music, it wasn’t my cup of tea, though many in the audience were happily grooving to the beat. I was underwhelmed by the flat sound and it felt as though many of his songs were direct copies of classic songs instead of merely inspired by them.

One Republic. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.
One Republic. Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.

The real show of the evening began when a silhouetted One Republic took the stage and brought the powerhouse sound we’d been waiting for all night with an explosion of lights and video. Ryan Tedder, Zach Filkins, Drew Brown, Eddie Fisher, and Brent Kutzle have mastered the live performance and eagerly engaged with the screaming fans. The crowd went wild for each recognizable song, but the cheers for “Apologize,” “Stop and Stare,” “Good Life,” and “Counting Stars” sent birds flying from the rafters, and at the end the emotional “Come Home,” you could have heard pin drop before the wild applause broke out.

One Republic has captured the feelings of a generation and delivers catchy songs that sound just as good live as the do on the studio album. Filkins’ spotlight guitar solo was a highlight of the well-crafted show as were Tedder’s moments at the technicolor piano and the bright, abstract visuals that matched their upbeat and inspirational music without distracting from the band. At their core, One Republic has a solid sound that has understandably inspired new artists, yet is impossible to capture. Seeing them live is a truly rewarding experience for true fans and casual listeners alike and you’ll find yourself falling ever more in love with their work by the end of the show.

Five stars for a phenomenal live show that had the entire auditorium dancing, smiling, and singing along to popular songs throughout the evening.

One Republic played for one-night-only on August 5, 2013 at The Filene Center at Wolf Trap -1645 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA. For future performances and Information, check their calendar of events.

One Republic website.
Mayer Hawthorne website.
Serena Ryer website.


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