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O.A.R. with Soja and Kelly James

July 21 • PNC Pavilion at Riverbend

By Brian Baker · July 19th, 2011 · Sound Advice
It’s been a decade and a half since the original quartet of Marc Roberge, Chris Culos, Richard On and Benj Gershman came together as Of a Revolution in their Rockville, Md., hometown. The high-schoolers recorded and released their 1997 debut, The Wanderer, and then all four members relocated to Columbus, Ohio, in order to attend The Ohio State University.

By all rights, the rigors of college life and the natural stresses of leaving home should have forced the band members to set aside their commitment to O.A.R., if not abandon it altogether. But the foursome kept the band intact by playing every Columbus gig offered (the group also recorded 2000’s Souls Aflame while still students) and, in doing so, created a solid fan base that grew with the band and continued to follow O.A.R. long after the members’ OSU days were over.

With the addition of Jerry DePizzo, O.A.R.

dropped its third album, 2001’s Risen, which just barely missed the Top 10 of Billboard’s Internet Sales Chart; the following year saw the release of Any Time Now, which sold enough units to get the independent band on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart.

That got the attention of the major labels. The band wisely chose to sign with Lava Records, who realized that O.A.R. knew what it was doing and let it continue without interference. O.A.R. has never altered its live approach of extended and often substantially differing Jam arrangements of its songs, assuring the uniqueness of every concert experience (the band has released four live albums to date).

The group’s 2005 release, Stories of a Stranger, debuted in Billboard’s Top 40, and its Madison Square Garden appearance on the album’s tour was a sell out, but it was 2008’s All Sides and its ubiquitous hit “Shattered (Turn the Car Around)” that pushed O.A.R. to the next level. The group’s anxiously awaited next album, King, will be released early next month and could prove to be O.A.R.’s biggest ever.

Apparently the Revolution will be televised.

O.A.R. plays PNC Pavilion Thursday, July 21 with guests SOJA and KELLY JAMES. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.



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