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In November of 2014 I purchased Golden Circle tickets for One Republic’s concert on the 21.06.2015. There was no real build-up to the concert, because I had purchased the tickets so long ago. I normally do some research before a show, so I didn’t know what to expect which can sometimes be a good thing.
Gangs of Ballet was the support act for One Republic’s South African tour. The band started their set at 08:00 and performed their live staples such as “Hello Sweet World”, “Don’t Let Me Go” and “House and Money”. Gangs of Ballet hail from Durban and the band consists of Brad Klynsmith (Vocals/Electric Guitar), Jono Rich (Keyboard) and Josh Klynsmith (drums). All three musicians have studied Music at University level. Their sound is difficult to attribute to one genre, but they experiment with an eclectic mix of alternative, melodic, anthemic, electronic and dance music. Their musical influences include; Coldplay, Radiohead, Muse, The Killers, Civil Twilight and Isochronous. The band delivered a passionate performance, but I struggled to hear some of the vocals which might be due to where I was standing in front of the speakers which was very LOUD at times much to my delight! I was pleased that the support act was a well-known and experienced band, because it demonstrates the talent that South Africa can produce.
At 09:00 it was One Republic who finally took to the stage or so we thought?? We were treated to the band’s shadows behind a white sheet which really amped up the anticipation. They opened with “Don’t Look Down” and went straight into “Light It Up” which was fitting.
As soon as the sheet came down the crowd went crazy and wholeheartedly sang along with “Secrets”.
The band went off stage for a few minutes when the on-screen choir started singing the intro to “All The Right Moves”. It was really remarkable the amount of variables evident on each song that One Republic produces and you only realise that once you see them play live. You tend to take it for granted when you are listening to their albums. Each band member is capable of playing four instruments or more depending on the demands of each song, additionally they use their hands as instruments as well. They slowed it down with the song “What You Wanted” and played a crowd favourite followed called “Stop and Stare”. The popular song “Something I Need” didn’t disappoint at all.
The band moved their set to the middle of the runway with a cool acoustic setting. Ryan introduced “Apologize” on the piano to a very receptive crowd. A real treat was when Ryan did a cover of George Ezra’s “Budapest” with a twist. The band went on to play “Preacher” a really emotional song which will ring true to a lot of people, I was surprised how much I liked this song when I first heard it while listening to “Native”. Next up was “Good Life” accompanied by imagery of the band and all their adventures during their world tour including the places that they visited. Among the shots were images of Cape Town which was a proud moment for all of us.
The band went off stage except Zach Filkins who stayed behind, to treat us in playing witness to his extraordinary guitar skills with a Spanish guitar medley. It was jaw-dropping! The band re-entered to play “Counting Stars”, one of my favourite songs. They continued with “Can’t Stop”, “Au Revoir”, “Feel Again” and the current hit “I Lived” a very emotional song layered with a catchy melody.
The encore started with the anthemic “Love Runs Out” during which Ryan came over to our side of the stage, looked me right in the eyes and took my hand, (*faints*) I don’t remember much after that 😀 .
[I have a ring on with red cross with blue background and he grabs my hand first, view below:]
Ryan took us by surprise when he did a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful Life”. The last song was Alesso’s remix of “I Lose Myself” during which the crowd was showered with confetti. I’m so glad that they decided to play the remixed version, because it took the energy of the crowd to another level. View the video of the performance here:
Ryan is a very energetic frontman affecting everyone around him and I was in awe of his exceptional vocal delivery which was on point the entire time!
I really appreciate the production that went into setting up the venue and the ambience of the show. I can understand why I paid the asking price, which is really important for the band(s) and production team to take into account. As a concert goer you NEVER want to feel ripped off. I had a fabulous time and I would love for the band return to South Africa ASAP.
Follow One Republic on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OneRepublic
Follow Gangs of Ballet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GangsOfBallet
PS: Thank you to my fiance for all the photos and videos he took, so that I could just enjoy the show.