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Live On Red Rocks
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Live On Red Rocks Song Commentary

1. Dangerous Connection

Not only do I start DC off, but it’s the first song of the entire Red Rocks setlist. I remember floating on stage (you don’t walk on stage at Red Rocks) and thinking to myself, “Establish the tempo for this song and set a good feeling for the rest of the night.” My guitar part uses a heavy slap-back delay which creates a rhythm that allows me to throw accents that dance around the beat. Because the delay is so loud, there is little room for error. A little off, sounds a lot off, and once you’re lost, it’s hard to find your way back. Thankfully, as soon as I started playing the delay it was locked in and everything fell into place. We ended up playing one of the best shows of our career that night.

- Richard

2. Program Director

Evan and Jon had been harassing us to play this song forever… but I think Benj was still hazing them for their first year on tour with us. After months of them begging, we ended up taking some time to work on it at rehearsals before the summer tour. I think they were pretty excited. Their enthusiasm brought so much new energy into the song it was silly. Just by letting them do their thing, it really came to life. It was amazing how much more powerful the whole song was with a horn section. It drove the song in exactly the way it was missing. We ended up playing this song almost every night of the tour. For me, this was the song of the summer, and it’s an example of why I think this is our “livest” live album yet.

- Chris

3. Shattered

This is a pretty damn good song if I do say so myself. I love witnessing its magic every night. Most bands that have success at radio with a song play it towards the end of the evening. We come right out of the gate with it because we know it will set a great tone for the rest of the night. We started playing it in the #3 slot a good deal during this past summer because of its ability to spark life into the evening. I love seeing even the toughest, most tatted and pierced dude mumbling the chorus. That’s its magic. Everyone has been at that breaking point at one point or another and needs to let it out.

- Jerry

4. Here’s To You

This song is one of my favorites to play live. The rock part that the song begins with sets a powerful mood that is alleviated with what I consider our classic reggae-influenced sound. Richie slays the guitar solo and it just feels so damn good. Not to mention, the song is in homage to those that keep us playing. Our audience. That’s who you is. You.

- Benj

5. Gotta Be Wrong Sometimes

We used to perform this song exactly how it was recorded on the record. That’s always the starting point when you’re thinking live show. Some songs translate perfectly that way, but GBWS needed more. The first addition was extending the outro with a sax solo then bringing the chorus back in for one final sing along. That arrangement did wonders for the song, but it was still missing the crowd participation that we burn off of. How do we get the crowd more involved? Have them start the song off by singing the vocal hook. “Way-oh, way-oh” is too easy not to sing along to even for someone who isn’t familiar with the tune. A big thank you to everyone at Red Rock’s for singing their hearts out. You sound lovely on the recording.

- Richard

6. Heard the World

We wanted to play this song early in the set so we could open up with some jams and then draw the crowd back in with something a little more personal. The guitar hook grabs people’s attention right away and I love hearing the crowd sing along. I think Richie plays some of the coolest and creative sounds I’ve ever heard him play. It’s magic. Red Rocks really is a magical place.

- Chris

7. Road Outside Columbus

ROC has had life breathed back into it with the addition of the horn section. I felt that this tune could really shine with the horns and took a good deal of time crafting the horn line with the help of Evan. Jon does some great work night after night on the solo section of this song… Evan too. I love that we were able to stretch and develop a new section to this song. Jon and Marc’s section creates moments that only can happen on stage during the evolution of a song. There’s no planning or strategy, it’s just spontaneous efforts of some guys on stage being in the moment.

- Jerry

8. Woke Up an Uncle

I remember when I woke up an uncle. It was the end of May, O.A.R. was just leaving Ohio State for our first real summer tour, and then I got that phone call. I couldn’t stop smiling for days. This song feels like that to me. It sounds like a smile. Also, this explanation has nothing to do with the meaning of the song. I was just recalling when I woke up an uncle.

- Benj

9. The Last Time

From the terrible demo I made in my old apartment to recording it live at Red Rocks, this song has come a long way. On the flip side of Gotta Be Wrong Sometimes, TLT translates perfectly live the way it was played on King. Other than extending the outro all the parts are pretty much the same. My favorite section has to be the bridge. It’s a beautiful part that let’s the song breathe for a bit before we are guns blazing for the guitar solo and last chorus.

- Richard

10. To Zion Goes I

I love this song because it reminds me of the early days and takes me back to when we came home from high school in Israel in 1996 and Marc had all these new ideas and characters to write about. The setting for Red Rocks is exactly how I always pictured The Wanderer’s journey through the mountains and valleys below. I always tell people, if you’ve never been to Red Rocks, it doesn’t matter who’s playing, just pick a show and go. You will never forget it.

- Chris

11. The Wanderer

This is probably my favorite O.A.R. song…O.A.R. at its best. Its driving “reggae but not really” beat layered with Marc’s descriptive lyrics and universal perspective sums up the band for me. I remember listening to this song when I was 19yrs old, more a buddy than a band member, and completely identifying with the Wanderer character. This song told my story as well as the story of my friends around me. For the first time in my life I was out on my own, figuring out who I wanted to be and how the hell I was going to get there. I felt determined and driven just like the back beat of the tune. Stepping back into reality for a second, we also had some kick-ass lights during this song the night of Red Rocks.

- Jerry

12. Delicate Few

Well, ok, you know when you’re stressed out and you wanna smash someone in the face? Yes, right before yoga class. To me, this song is about not needing a yoga class, or a good ole face smashing…it’s about chillaxing with people you love. As a band, we’re lucky to do that on stage together every time we perform, and it’s great to have this in our lives, but the song is a reminder to do that in life, and if I’m not mistaken, Marc isn’t just talking to those onstage, but really those who are off (yes that is a double meaning of the word off). That’s probably what I love most about this tune, the movement that the thought behind the song makes you feel. It shifts your energy…it says relax, but it makes you wanna put your arms around your friends and have a good time.

- Benj

13. Love And Memories

A song that can be played anywhere in the setlist is an asset to any band and L&M is one of those tunes. It’s such a dynamic song with rocking moments and tender moments. Since the bridge is completely improvised it’s really important for everyone to pay close attention to what Marc is singing. Eventually, we drop back down into a breakdown chorus, but there’s no set amount of bars leading up to it. It’s all based on where Marc takes it.

- Richard

14. Mr. Moon

Before we started the song at Red Rocks Marc talked about how a lot of the songs he wrote were written to hopefully be played one day on a mountain top looking out into the sky. How they were set in this location- even when he had never been to Red Rocks. The visual images here are exactly what he was picturing. This song almost sounds better when we play it at Red Rocks.

- Chris

15. Heaven

I remember Marc playing me the demo of this tune. My first reaction was “That’s a cool song. Who’s it for?” I didn’t identify it with O.A.R. the first time I heard it… or the second time for that matter. But I give Marc a lot of credit. He heard the future and he felt our boundaries expanding. This tune taught me to not be afraid to grow. That’s an important lesson.

“I don’t want to go to Heaven if I can’t get in.” That’s an attention-grabbing statement that could potentially cause quite a stir. I’m proud we made the tune and released it as the single off of King. It says to me that we’re not afraid to take a stand and take one on the chin. Ultimately, people understood the message. Live a good life that you want to live and don’t be held down by other people’s rules or expectations. We all know what it takes to be a good person. Go do it and don’t worry about the semantics. Groucho Marks said that he never wanted to be part of club that would have him as a member. Wise words.

I’m also very proud of how this song developed for our live show. We were not precious about the studio version. We understood that the album cut worked for the record and that the song needed to take on another shape in order to be effective live. The 3rd chorus just explodes with life and energy and I love that. It’s very fitting for the theme of the song. I love that it can work as an opener, mid set tune, or closer. There are very few tunes that can do that.

- Jerry

16. Ladanday

We’ve been playing this song for about fifteen years and I still can’t figure out who Peter is. Is he real? Is he the guy with the pickled peppers? Is he on Family Guy? I should have asked Marc about this before I wrote this explanation. I can’t explain this explanation.

- Benj

17. Irish Rose

We all have people we love whether it’s your wife, partner, child, parents or friend and the thought of losing them just aches your heart. IR is such an emotional song to play. Sometimes I try not to listen to the lyrics just so my eyes don’t fill up. Instrumentally, our goal is to begin on 1 and end on 10. Marc starts off on acoustic. One by one we each find our way into the song and it begins to build. After “You just gotta let it out!”, we are in full stride just playing off each other…a feeling you can’t describe. Definitely one of my favorite songs to play live.

- Richard

18. Black Rock

I remember hanging back stage with Marc the first time we ever played Red Rocks in 2007 and we talked about how cool it would be for him to switch out one of the “Black Rock” lyrics to a “Red Rock” lyric. I was waiting for it the whole time when we were playing the song. Just as I was thinking he must’ve forgotten, he yelled it out on the very last line of the song, “ON THE RED ROCKS!!” and looked back at me with an “I gotchu” nod. And now it’s somewhat of an unspoken tradition at Red Rocks. I never know when he’s gonna say it, but he always plugs it somewhere in the song.

- Chris

19. That Was A Crazy Game of Poker

We have noticed that people throw cards into the air at the beginning of this song. We knew that we were going to film Red Rocks, so for the first time, we egged you’s guys along. We threw a statement out into the twitter-sphere that we wanted to make it rain with cards. Challenge accepted. We saw people bringing in trash bags full of playing cards. I give everyone credit for waiting until Poker to let them fly…and fly they did. It rained clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades for the entire song and I love that we got to capture it on film. Its such a unique moment of our set and one that you will only experience at an O.A.R. show. Kudos.

- Jerry

20. I Feel Home

I love it when O.A.R. plays this song. Not just cause I don’t have to do anything, as there’s no bass part, but because it resonates with our audience. It’s a moment in the show when things slow down, time pauses so to speak. It’s pretty special. Maybe it’s how the song was written, in a driveway with friends, or how it’s still a broken down acoustic track, but there is just a lot of depth and honesty here that I don’t find in a lot of songs. This is where I say ‘Kids these days’.

- Benj

21. War Song

Chris had a brilliant idea to create a moment where Marc and I leave the stage and perform I Feel Home in the audience. The only problem was getting back to the stage without creating any dead time. WS helps make that transition seamless. The last chord of IFH is actually the first chord of WS so when Marc and I end Chris, Benj, Jerry and Mikel begin. Talk about jamming at its best. Sometimes I just want to sit back and listen to them play. They extend the intro just long enough for Marc to get to his mic and begin the first verse of WS. From there the journey begins.

- Richard

22. Hey Girl

Look, if we’re gonna put this song on another record, we gotta mix it up. I love love love playing this song, but truth be told I’m sure even Richie was happy to let someone else take the first solo- he’s been playing it since 1997. And it was so fun to watch Lampley rock it out. Jon and Evan’s enthusiasm and energy brings so many more smiles to tour now. It’s so refreshing to see how much they truly appreciate being able to play music. And this song is a great example of all that coming together- the show, the crowd, the venue… a night we’ll never forget.

- Chris

Stream Songs From Live On Red Rocks

I’d never been to Red Rocks until we parked the bus at the bottom of a hill in 2007 and took our first long walk up the winding roadway that leads to the back of the greatest outdoor venue in the world. I remember after the show that night we all decided that one day we would make a live concert film in this place, on that stage, between rock walls, under the open sky.

Live on Red Rocks represents a significant time in our band’s history, captures the music in its purest form, on a beautiful summer night. The way we always imagined it.

- Marc

Red Rocks - A Fan's Perspective By Collin McDowell
Fan Submitted Photos
Submitted by Jennifer HodgesSubmitted by Heidi VillescasSubmitted by Margaret JohnsonSubmitted by Lauren MillerSubmitted by Nola HansenSubmitted by Nola HansenSubmitted by Ryan BatlinerSubmitted by Rosalyn YoungSubmitted by Brian BockelmanSubmitted by Brian BockelmanSubmitted by Christan LeighSubmitted by Cheryl EdmondsSubmitted by Matthew ColsonSubmitted by Matthew ColsonSubmitted by Joseph RecaboSubmitted by Joseph RecaboSubmitted by Josh BarchatSubmitted by Josh BarchatSubmitted by Lisa MorrisSubmitted by Matthew Colson

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Live On Red Rocks Booklet