There was a nice breeze and a stunning sunset on the gorge that Artpark sits upon on Wednesday, July 2. The venue was filled to capacity with a sold out crowd to see O.A.R. and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips.
Phillip Phillips brought an intense energy and proved to a lot of people that he is much more than an American Idol winner. He also showed the heavy influence that Dave Matthews had on him as everyone in the crowd was commenting on it. Did he sound, move and act like Mr. Matthews? Yes, but he was also very good in his own right and has the potential to be just as big with this next generation of music fans.
He played his hits “Fly”, “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Home” as well as his own version of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”, which all the young girls swooned over. Phillip Phillips will be much more than a former Idol winner and he produces such a great show filled with an energetic stage presence, great fan interaction and just plain great music.
The heart of the crowd was there for O.A.R., veterans at this point to the live music scene and always a band that likes to come to the Western New York area. The band wasted no time coming out to the stage and busting right into the music with “About Mr. Brown”, a song from their first album, The Wanderer, and had everyone singing right from the start.
The band dove into their most commercially successful song “Shattered” just as they warmed up, turning up the heat on a very humid evening. What makes these guys so fan-friendly is the fun they have onstage together. A clear example was Jerry DePizzo (saxophone/guitars) and Richard On (guitars) who both threw their picks into the air following a solo, giving someone in the crowd that souvenir to remember the night. Marc Roberge (vocals, guitar) loves to get the crowd up and moving with his reggae inflection, dictating the mood of the entire show. The band ended the night with their biggest fan favorite, “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker“. This band knocked it out of the park as they have many times when visiting the area, and coming off their eighth album that was released last month, their doesn’t seem to be any letting up.
O.A.R. Set List (provided by oarsa.org):
About Mr. Brown, Black Rock, Love and Memories, Dareh Meyod, Night Shift, Favorite Song, Shattered (Turn The Car Around), Old Man Time, Hey Girl, Two Hands Up, City On Down, Delicate Few, King Of The Thing, We’ll Pick Up Where We Left Off, Heaven, War Song
Encore: Peace, That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker