Rock band OneRepublic certainly knew how to put on a memorable show at its Stadium Merdeka concert in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday night.
Vocalist Ryan Tedder opened the show with fan favourite Stop And Stare and captivated the crowd with a stirring piano- driven rendition.
The band kept the excitement going with another signature number Secrets, elevating the live version of the song with a majestic cello and violin-focused sound. Plus, the fact that Tedder’s vocals were on point that night made it better.
It took a while for Tedder to address the adoring crowd. He inserted “Malaysia” in the line for the song Good Life (“To all my friends in Malaysia, I say hello…”), much to the delight of the thousands of fans who attended the show.
When Tedder finally opened up, he showed off his skill as a humourous, relatable storyteller. He started off by recalling the band’s last visit to Malaysia back in 2013.
“The last time we were here, it was the monsoon season and we couldn’t go anywere,” he said.
KL’s good sunny weather in the past few days has allowed the band to explore the city a bit more. Tedder visited a hipster cafe and fans have reportedly spotted members of the band in a mall.
“This is the first time I got to stay in the city and let me tell you, this city is amazing. Absolutely love it and no, it’s no bulls**t,” Tedder said to the crowd.
Apart from the usual hit songs (Apologize, If I Lose Myself and Counting Stars), OneRepublic also surprised the audience when they decided to perform covers of hit songs that Tedder wrote for other artistes.
“This is the first year that we’re performing songs written for other people. I feel weird doing other people’s songs but I wrote them so technically… they are my songs. I’m taking that back!”
The band kicked off the so-called karaoke session (Tedder’s words, not ours) with Halo, the ballad originally performed by Beyonce.
Then there’s the emotional Happier, a single from Ed Sheeran’s latest album Divide. Tedder had fun telling the audience the story behind the song.
“This song was originally written on piano, then that son of a (expletive) put it on guitar. I’m (just) saying it sounds better on a piano,” he shared with a laugh.
Now, OneRepublic has not released a new album since the lacklustre Oh My My in 2016 and also currently has no popular single in the charts. So what was the band doing here in the first place?
As it turns out, the band actually IS on the verge of putting out new music.
This Malaysian gig is part of a specially selected 16-day tour for the band to kick off the next phase in their career. Call it a “warm-up gig”, if you’d like.
“We have finished a song with rapper Logic and even recorded two new songs today in KL. We’re putting out a documentary of our journey here and hopefully you get to see your city in the footage,” Tedder said as he revealed another special surprise.
The band then performed Born To Race, a new single written for the new Need For Speed videogame. At this point, Tedder got off the stage and walked across the stadium to greet some lucky fans.
Before closing the show, Tedder joked that he and bandmates must have lost at least five pounds (2kg) from this gig alone.
“We need a lot more South-East Asia tours just to get in better shape!” Tedder joked.
Well, their weight loss is a major gain for fans who lapped up every moment of the memorable concert.