I was fortunate enough to get some pre-sale, front row tickets to O.A.R. and, after zero effort, convinced my friend Luke Shiver to join me. We left Columbus after work and headed south to Louisville. With a couple of hours to kill, I suggested we give Browing’s Brew Pub a try. The place was packed because the Riverbats had a game, but it quickly cleared-out. I had two different beers (one was average, the other quite tasety, but I don’t remember the names) but it was the Hot Brown I enjoyed the most. I’m definitely back in Kentucky now.
Parking was a cinch both outside the restaurant, and then again outside the Palace Theatre. In downtown Indy, there’s no way I could have found free street parking 2 blocks for either a baseball game or a concert.
The last time I visited the Palace Theatre was for a Dave Mathews and Tim Reynolds concert in February, 1999. It all came back to me as I walked past the ample bar area and peered into the auditorium. We grabbed a couple of drinks and headed to our seats. We initially sat in the first row of the orchestra section and I was bummed that there were 3 more rows in front of us. I then realized the tickets were for the first row of the pit section, just two seats outside the center, touching the stage. I was so close to the microphones that I could read the set list. Clearly, this is the best way to see a concert.
The average age of the audience was higher than any other O.A.R. show I’ve attended, and a lot of the mid-to-late-20s and older group was in the first few rows. Older (longer-term?) fans, nothing wrong with that. They were definitely the nicest, friendliest, and most energetic O.A.R. fans I’d met.
The band took the stage and the audience around me went absolutely nuts. The whole place was electric. Despite all the crowd excitement, I felt the first two songs of the concert (see setlist below) were a little boring. I was very excited when Delicate Few started, but apparently the front row were about the only one’s who were. If you’ve ever been to an O.A.R. concert before, you know that some crowd sing-along is to be expected on Delicate Few, Black Rock, and Poker. If not for the 8 of us in the front row on the right side (especially the guy two seats to my right), it would have been total audience humiliation. Marc Roberge acknowleged this and even pointed the microphone our way.
I was very pleased by both of the new-to-me songs that were played: Road Outside Columbus and especially See You Cry.
Not long after, when some newer songs were played, it seemed to me that everyone behind the 5th row was almost asleep. To me, the best part of a live show it the energy and interaction between the band and crowd. This group didn’t compare to what I’d experienced at Bloomington or The Lawn at White River last year.
Perhaps sensing the need for an energy boost, Marc Roberge took a fan request and changed the setlist (apparently, the song name was written on a bed sheet by bedsheetGIRL15.) He walked to band-only microphone and apparently communicated the switch, and the band started playing So Moved On. This is one of my favorite O.A.R. songs and one that I hadn’t heard in quite some time. The chorus of the songs includes the lyrics “with my drink in hand, I got up to stand, and I was off to a regular day.” Although most casual listeners take this to be a drinking anthem, it’s actually about quitting the excesses that can overtake ones life. It has resonance and I digg it.
Hearing I Feel Home is always a treat, and the pre-encore finale of Love and Memories was perfectly placed. The finale was the traditional Poker. It’s always a great, exciting, fantastic to an O.A.R. concert. The fans definitely appreciated it more than any other song. To me, it was great and not notably better or worse than any similar Poker finale I’d experienced.
My seating location, the fans in the front row with me, and being back in Louisville are what made this concert special.
Palace Theatre 07.16.2007 – Louisville, KY
- Set 1:
~ Marc solo.
& Marc and Richard.
Entire show with Mike Paris on keys, percussion, and vocals.