O.A.R. at Marquee Theatre, 1/25/12

O.A.R. Marquee Theatre Wednesday, January 25 2012

O.A.R. kicked off their most recent tour with Tempe -- and the buzzing crowd and multiple encores indicated that they picked a good place to start.

As soon as the stage lit up, so did some trees -- if you know what I mean. Lead singer, Marc Roberge brought out his reggae-tinged voice and soothed the crowd. I chuckled hearing a little girl tell her dad, "No daddy it's just the smoke from the stage", as her dad held back from laughing. You get my point.

The passion poured out of the jam band into the crowd. No one was still or quiet. As well few were sober. Needless to say I think my boots took in more beer than I ever have.

Every instrument was balanced throughout the show, and in true jammy fashion, everyone had their own solos. But it was Jerry DePizzo's expressive saxophone playing that really stole the show. I don't think I have ever heard a crowd chant the saxophonists name over and over just to hear more from an individual performer. Touring member Mikel Paris, killed the keys, and even brought out the triangle. Yes, I know the triangle. It all sounded amazing.

Listening not to mention dancing during the whole concert I came to realize a huge difference between listening to O.A.R.'s albums compared to seeing them performed live. Don't get me wrong their music is amazing, but they built for live performance. Plenty of bands issue great albums, but fail to come alive during live performance. Not the case with O.A.R., who held the crowd in their palms.

O.A.R. tested out some new singles as well as songs from their most recent album, King. A true testament to their skill? People actually seemed stoked to hear the new stuff, not just old favorites.

No one wanted to leave.

"Y'all aren't leaving so it's cool", Roberge said. And O.A.R. kept on playing. If the Marquee didn't have a closing time, I think the band may have continued all night.

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