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Fans Brave Torrential Thunderstorms for OAR

Fans Brave Torrential Thunderstorms for OAR

Hot August weather and humidity in Charlotte ultimately led to torrential thunderstorms on Tuesday night. With only a ten percent chance of rain at the start of the show, the chance of thunderstorms skyrocketed towards the beginning of OAR’s set as lightning lit up the sky. Aside from a major rain delay, Charlotte fans proved that weather will not affect their ability to have a good time. Returning to Charlotte as a part of their Just Like Paradise Tour OAR made sure that the show would go on despite what mother nature threw towards them.

The first band of the night included Tennessee quartet, The New Respects, eager and excited to shed pop, soul, and rock & roll, gave it their all for Charlotte attendees. As the crowd filled in, the band danced and created an inviting atmosphere for those who were just entering the amphitheater. The New Respects consists of siblings
Alexandria Fitzgerald, Alexis Fitzgerald, Darius Fitzgerald, and cousin Jasmine Mullen. Releasing their first in the summer of 2016, the band has only continued to work hard, releasing work that they believe in, and playing shows in order to gain a larger fanbase. The young musicians presented modern funk and potential hits before the eyes and ears of Charlotte. Lead singer Jasmine Mullen wore a bronze colored kimono that swayed in the wind as she grooved from side to side. Playing songs such as “Trouble” and “Freedom”, many fans stopped right in their tracks at the sound of Mullen’s bluesy voice and mind boggling range. With swagger and a chill vibe, The New Respects owned their set, gaining many new fans after their 30 minute set.

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Next up was Matt Nathanson. Originally beginning his musical career with a series of independent albums in the early 90’s, Nathanson has since released ten albums proving him to be a well versed performer and singer/songwriter. Known especially for his song “Come On Get Higher”, a song that has accumulated more than 72 million streams on Spotify, many crowd members had attended the show for Nathanson. Writing songs with bands such as Sugarland and touring with artists like Kelly Clarkson, he had his fair share of opportunities to name drop.

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Nathanson opened with “Giants”, the first track off his most recent album “Show Me Your Fangs”. His stage was set with instruments for all bandmates and a black backdrop depicting a stick figure holding a heart shaped balloon. After “Giants”, he played “Mine”, new material released as a part of an EP on July 27. “Mine” was a much more modern/poppy approach compared to “Giants”, a song that would fall under the category of singer/songwriter and alternative.

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It was hard not to notice the many cuts, bruises, bumps, and bandages among Nathanson’s body during his set. After the song, he confessed and told the crowd as to why he looked so beat up. The day before the show, Nathanson had been biking in the Elmwood Cemetery behind the AvidxChange music factory and hit a pothole which ultimately caused his fall. He said he had to go to the hospital to get stitches on his chin. Charlotte may have not treated Nathanson kindly at the start, however fans made sure to make up for the pothole incident and left Nathanson with a less painful and more enjoyable memory.

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Matt Nathanson warmed the crowd up perfectly for OAR, captivating crowd members of all age and even calling out a few, encouraging them, thanking them, and making fun of them for not clapping or dancing along. Humourous and talented, Nathanson sang songs from many of his albums, and even one from the movie Grease for kicks. Having seen Nathanson a few times before opening for bands and artists such as Train and Phillip Phillips, I can add that he, again, did not fail to please. Whether you are eight or eighty, Matt Nathanson is easy to love and enjoy.


First playing together at the 8th grade talent show in the band’s homestate, Maryland, OAR’s chemistry and ability to play effortlessly with each other was truly present. OAR, standing for “Of a Revolution”, was founded in 1996 and consists of Marc Roberge (lead vocals/guitar), Chris Culos (drums), Richard On (guitar), Benj Gershman (bass), and Jerry DePizzo (saxophone). Known for their outstanding live shows and extensive touring, the band has only continued to prove the importance of connection with fans and music supporters. Falling under the rock category, the band combines roots rock and reggae fusion to create a unique sound.


OAR opened up with “Whatever Happened”, a song off their 2008 album “All Sides”. Before the rest of the band chimed in, Jerry DePizzo played an elaborate saxophone intro. The stage lights flashed fluorescent blue as DePizzo shredded and the crowd cheered. Only a few seconds into the band’s fourth song, “City On Down”, lead singer, Marc Roberge, announced that the band had to leave the stage due to severe thunderstorms. Looking confused, many crowd members did not believe Roberge, until an official from backstage asked everyone to take shelter either in their cars or a restaurant nearby, as the show would be delayed for 30 minutes.


At this time, I had just left the photo pit and was confused when my cousin, who had been attending the concert with me, appeared by my side. Shortly after, mobs of people began to enter the VIP area inside the Fillmore. Not long after the announcement, it began to rain cats and dogs. Thundering so loud, it quieted every chatty person inside the Fillmore. As 30 minutes passed by, many wondered if the show would go on. In fact, over a quarter of the attendees left, in disbelief that OAR would return. Fans checked Twitter frequently for updates as they began to lose hope. An hour later, around 10:20pm, Live Nation announced that the show would begin again in 10 minutes. Fans cheered and clapped as security lined up to go back to the ampitheatre.


At 10:30pm, sure enough, OAR reappeared onstage and started with “City On Down” so that fans could hear the song with no interruption and in its entirety. After concluding the song, Roberge thanked the crowd with great humility: “Thank you so much for staying out with us, you know I mean it”.

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Those that had braved the treacherous storm, returned with more positivity and excitement than they had arrived with. They knew they had been through the worst and were ready for a pleasurable night of entertainment with OAR. Even better, the venue had granted OAR permission to sing to 11:30pm in order to finish their set. Opposed to their usual 11:00pm sound ordinance.


The band played hits such as “Shattered (Turn the Car Around)”, “Love and Memories”, and “I Go Through”. For “Peace”, fans shined cell phone lights, mimicking the band members on stage. As crowd members swayed back and forth, there really was a moment of peace. The storms had passed and the presence of OAR and Roberge’s sweet voice was unforgettable. Roberge ended the song as the lights dimmed and he held up a peace sign, creating a silhouette and silencing the crowd shortly before they began cheering once again. After “Peace” Roberge thanked the crowd repeatedly saying, “I’m not going to thank you all the time because that would annoy the hell out of you but just thank you so, so much.”.

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Towards the end of their set, OAR played the fan favorite “That Was A Crazy Game of Poker”, as people tossed playing cards in the air. At first, I was very confused by this gesture although, it did not take me long to make the connection. I quickly realized that the decks of cards being catapulted towards the stage were not giant pieces of confetti.


OAR ended with a cover of The Wailers’ “Stir It Up”. Perfectly wrapping up the night’s lively atmosphere. Carolina fans had braved the rain, lightning, and high August temperatures all in the course of one night. For those that “turned the car around” at the sight of the weather, I hate to say it, but you missed out. And for those that chose to stay, I’m sure would do it all over again.

See full gallery of the night!

O.A.R. Setlist Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC, USA 2018, Just Like Paradise Tour


Catch this tour:

Today 7 PM293 guests
Selbyville, DE
Tomorrow 9 PM309 guests
Charles Town, WV
Sat 8 PM334 guests
Charles Town, WV
Mon 5 PM1,703 guests
New York, NY
Tue 6:30 PM1,751 guests
Boston, MA
Thu 7 PM1,398 guests
Hampton Beach, NH
Fri 7 PM165 guests
East Providence, RI
Sat 7 PM394 guests
Middletown, PA
Sun 6:30 PM818 guests
Bethel, NY
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Philadelphia, PA
Wed 7 PM338 guests
Lewiston, NY
Thu 7 PM2,263 guests
Cleveland, OH
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Grand Rapids, MI
AUG28 Indianapolis, IN
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Raleigh, NC
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Council Bluffs, IA
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Highland Park, IL
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Prior Lake, MN
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Kansas City, MO
Sun 6:30 PM MDT4,317 guests
Morrison, CO
Mon 6 PM MDT327 guests
Salt Lake City, UT
Wed 6 PM MST741 guests
Tempe, AZ
Thu 8 PM PDT195 guests
Fri 5:30 PM PDT416 guests
Anaheim, CA
Sat 6:30 PM PDT281 guests
Saratoga, CA
Sun 7 PM PDT661 guests
Portland, OR
Tue 7:30 PM PDT409 guests
Seattle, WA
Upcoming Events
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East Providence, RI
Kansas City, MO
Oct 13 – Oct 145,113 guests
Naranja Park
Thu 7:30 PM910 guests
Cincinnati, OH
The Pageant
Fri 8 PM CST1,384 guests
St. Louis, MO
Columbus, OH
Thu 7 PM1,263 guests
Pittsburgh, PA


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