“We’re waking up … And right on time.” -OneRepublic, Waking Up
On Monday, the King five drove the windy Czech roads and ventured down in Austria. This wasn’t just any trip. Our destination was Vienna, the legendary city of music of the ranks of Mozart, to a concert we bought tickets for almost exactly one year ago. This wasn’t just any concert. The music we have been anticipating seeing live in concert is the music of the legendary band, U2.
And, oh! was it a CONCERT!
There are not many words to wrap around the fullness of the sound, the incredible heart-shaking bass, or the soul-flying energy and spirit to a crowd gathered around one of the music of U2– all 68,500 Austrians, and the five of us Kings. The whole time was truly the experience of a lifetime. So grateful to have had it.
But I want to mention the band who opened for U2, a new-ish band called OneRepublic. It turns out that their music is familiar, and before the concert I dove into their band bio to learn a little more. Ryan Tedder, OneRepublic’s frontman, says this, after he had performed on a singer/songwriter show on MTV and was given a prestigious recording contract, singing “POP” music:
“But how could I ever take myself seriously,” he says, “if I was embarrassed by what I was singing? There are a lot of artists who want to make you shake your ass on the dance floor, but only a handful that connect on a deeper level. I wanted more than just a catchy tune. There’s nothing like a good pop song, but there’s a fine line between accessibility and credibility, and that’s the line I want to walk.”
When at the concert, and Tedder said, “This is a lifelong dream come true,” about playing with U2. And when he mentioned they’d only seen U2 play once before, live, it began to make sense. This OneRepublic band, of amazing musical depth (violin, cello, 3 guitars, bass, keyboard, drums, etc.), has arrived at their dream only by remaining true to who they are. Not selling out for the popular music of little depth, not settling for something less than what they’ve dreamed. They stuck out the wait, and sharpened their skills, and practiced, and worked some more before their time came to sing. And sing and make music, they do.
I was deeply moved by their story, and by their music, and look forward to hearing more of them (live!) in the future. Oh, and to hold on to dreams … they will come true, with hard work and patience, in time.
Starting the conversation: What is your favorite live musical performance? Has it changed you?