O.A.R.: Live On Red Rocks

Maryland’s Of A Revolution released Live On Red Rocks late last year. Their latest 2CD live album was recorded at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater and includes one of their most popular songs, “Shattered.” This album shows O.A.R.’s experience on stage and musical talent in their expertly executed songs. While many bands fit the stereotype of sounding better in the studio than live, O.A.R. are just as good live as they boast cheerful, memorable performances.

Perhaps one of the most obvious musical influences in their sound is reggae and island beats, yet O.A.R. brings modern tones to all of their songs. “Shattered,” the third track on the first disc, is the epitome of the pop side of this band along with “Love & Memories” off of the second disc. Both combine sing-along properties, rhythmic guitar chords, and loud, high vocals by lead singer Marc Roberge. He also toys with scatting and fast singing in “That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker,” something often heard in jazz and reggae.

Many of the band’s songs are lively due to the upbeat tempo that comes with island music and sing-along properties. Some of their heavily influenced reggae songs include “Dangerous Connection” and “Program Director” from the first disc and “Black Rock” from the second. The mix of pop and reggae—O.A.R.’s essence—is best showed in “The Last Time,” where the beat remains very island themed yet the electric guitar chords and vocal tones are of a more modern nature. Live On Red Rocks is a skillfully put together album of a band who portrays brilliant instrumental and songwriting ability as well as chemistry between its members.

In A Word: Effervescent