Review: ‘O.A.R.’

As a warm-up to a 17-show tour in February, O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) made a large-scale debut at Madison Square Garden, where this former Ohio State U. frat band drew a full house of screaming teens. Musically sharp, tight numbers sported direct lyrics, with songs off the band's new album "Love and Memories" triggering a fevered response.

As a warm-up to a 17-show tour in February, O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) made a large-scale debut at Madison Square Garden, where this former Ohio State U. frat band drew a full house of screaming teens. Musically sharp, tight numbers sported direct lyrics, with songs off the band’s new album “Love and Memories” (Lava/Atlantic) triggering a fevered response.

The band’s mellow rock-meets-reggae clearly draws fans of Dave Matthews. O.A.R. proffers an uplifting sound and feel-good vibe that flirts with Christian rock.

Entertaining band remains in safe, shallow water and seems to venture out only for quick stabs at instrumental jams, guitar leads or horn solos. Marc Roberge’s glassy vocals are the gloss and shine on the outfit, never overpowering a song nor achieving great distinction. It would be interesting to see more risk and experimentation — they seem to have the talent.

O.A.R.

Madison Square Garden, 17,000 capacity; $35 top

Production

Presented inhouse. Reviewed Jan. 14, 2006.

Cast

Band: Marc Roberge, Richard On, Benj Gershman, Jerry DePizzo, Chris Culos.
Also appearing: Michael Paris.
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