Audience members atop The Beverly Hilton had all the right moves grooving to OneRepublic.
The pop-rock band filled the outside patio of The Beverly Hilton’s Stardust Penthouse with color and energy Wednesday, the band’s set bursting with sound and light against the misty grey skies of the evening.
On Wednesday, more than 100 people, some with champagne and wine in hand, packed the penthouse’s terrace to see OneRepublic up close. The five-person American rock band crowded onto a stage beneath color-changing lights, singing nine songs for about an hour. The band played some of its newer material including “Let’s Hurt Tonight” and some of its classics like “Stop and Stare.”
OneRepublic has already shown its ability to play on larger stages in front of thousands of people, like at the 2014 People’s Choice Awards. But the intimate venue allowed OneRepublic to show off its ability to cater for smaller crowds without losing its profound sound quality and the joyous feeling behind its lyrics.
OneRepublic opened with “Love Runs Out,” setting the energetic tone for the rest of the show. The drum and bass combination between percussionist Eddie Fisher and bassist Brent Kutzle resulted in a hefty rhythm that built up the audience’s energy.
Lead singer Ryan Tedder, decked out in a black and white outfit to match his keyboard, sang into a gold microphone at the end of the song, building to a falsetto that further brightened the mood despite the gloomy evening weather.
The band played older anthems such as “All the Right Moves” from 2009 and “Stop and Stare” and “Apologize” from 2007. To add flair to the familiar songs, Tedder improvised vocals at the beginning and end of each song, captivating the audience and drawing each song to a smooth and sonorous end.
Between songs, Tedder marveled at the crowd, sharing his amazement in having the opportunity to play on the rooftop of The Beverly Hilton, a venue that has hosted award shows like the Golden Globes. Though the band has played atbigger venues like Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, Tedder’s amazement seemed genuine given the fact that it was the group’s first time performing at the luxe venue.
“Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be,” Tedder sang, a cheeky reference to Weezer’s 2005 song “Beverly Hills.” “It is so dope that we’re performing right here right now.”
Tedder also made jokes regarding the California drought and the bizarre appearance of fog over Los Angeles on Wednesday night. His ability to make the audience laugh with jest and casual conversation made him seem more like a native Angeleno rather than a Grammy award-winning lead singer of a chart-topping band.
He even poked fun at the band’s notoriety.
“If you don’t know this next song, I don’t know what you’re doing here,” Tedder said in his introduction for the band’s 2007 hit “Apologize.”
The band’s stripped-down, two-instrument rendition of its first hit portrayed the same level of intimacy and humbleness as Tedder’s between-song monologues. Kutzle joined Tedder for the soulful number and switched out his bass for the a cello.
The bare rendition of the song allowed the cello’s robust vibrato and the piano’s rich chords to shine, balancing with Tedder’s lulling voice. The only thing competing with Tedder’s sound in that moment was the chorus of the audience collectively singing along to the classic lyrics.
The smaller stage and lack of security in front of the artists created an intimate relationship between the band and its audience.
Upon hearing the first line of the closing song “Counting Stars,” people started singing along and guitarist Zach Filkins struck the chords of the catchy chorus. Tedder stepped off the stage and into the crowd. With phones in hand, attendees swarmed Tedder as he made his way across the terrace.
By the end of “Counting Stars” and the close of the show, the five OneRepublic members were the brightest stars in the fog.