OneRepublic Live in Concert 2023: ‘The Philippines is the country that loves music the most’

Caren Gudiaga

“We've absolutely loved it here in the Philippines. We've been coming here since 2009, and this building obviously has a lot of history and is a sacred place. I don't think there's anywhere in the world we played about 90-something countries and when people asked me in interviews, and I mean, you can look this up on the Internet; what country loves music the most, I always say the Philippines.”

“You guys feel music unlike any country on earth, you can sing better than everybody,” as Ryan Tedder welcomes the avid crowd then kicking off the OneRepublic Live in Concert 2023 at the Araneta Coliseum with songs “Secrets” and “Good Life”.  

“I mean this, so tonight is just a big sing-along. We're gonna sing a bunch of songs we all know together. It's been three years, been a long time since that weird virus and now we're over it; we can hang out together. Let's have an incredible evening. Thank you, Manila. We love you!” 

And with that, we just let OneRepublic’s music take us away for the entire night.

The concert nostalgia  

My memory cabinet tells me, I haven’t really attended any foreign concerts or local live scenes recently. The pandemic has been a series of chaotic scenarios but days past and the years got better when disrupted shows are finally rolling out again. So, yeah, I can’t help but feel surreal about OneRepublic’s stellar performance. 

Accompanied by top-notch production and a spectacular light show, the stage is lit to us by Canadian pop newcomer Jessia, who is best known for her 2021 single “I’m Not Pretty”, bringing her to the attention of Grammy Award-winning singer-producer, Tedder himself and signed her on to Republic Records. 

It was also a delightful sight-seeing frontman Tedder’s energetic and impressive feat onstage, which I take as a testament that we, Filipino fans, are unlike anything else for OneRepublic. 

Redefining rhythm and instrumentality

OneRepublic comprises singer-songwriter and lead vocalist Ryan Tedder, guitarists Zach Filkins and Drew Brown, keys Brian Willett, bassist and cellist Brent Kutzle, and drummer Eddie Fisher. 

Their debut album, Dreaming Out Loud, released in 2007 includes the singles “Stop and Stare”, “Say (All I Need)” and the smash hit “Apologize”, which ranks at the Top 50 of Billboard Hot 100’s All-Time Top Songs. Followed by the band’s second album Waking Up in 2009, this comes with the four official singles “All the Right Moves”, “Secrets”, “Marchin’ On”, and “Good Life” while Native, released on March 2013 became the band’s highest-charting album to date.


In creating their third full-length album, the band traveled to Paris, Greece, London, New York, Seattle, and Vancouver to write, record, and immerse themselves in elevating and expanding their already-sweeping trademark sound.

 “Stop & Stare”, “Rescue Me”, “Wherever I Go”, and Love Runs Out” streamlined the first part of the show as we enjoyed OneRepublic’s redefined approach to rhythm and instrumentality — infused in a high-powered rock-pop hybrid with elements of electronic music and soulful vibes that really brought the raw energy up. It felt more organic to watch them live and be able to see how their kind of music connects with people after quite some time.

A concert within a concert 

“For the last 16 years, we've been a band, and I have been writing songs for hundreds of other artists, from Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, and Lany; we are everything in between. We are doing these songs in the next 15 minutes and giving you a concert inside of a concert,” reveals Tedder as he sat down at a piano and played portions of hit songs written by them for other artists. 

He walked the crowd through story after story introducing Beyonce’s “Halo”, Adele’s “Rumour Has It”, Lil Nas X’s “That’s What I Want”, and Jonas Brother’s “Sucker”. We listened to Tedder’s impressive high notes, and it was truly an outstanding moment knowing the creation of these wonderful songs and bringing all these songs to life is one of the finest acts an artist could do.

The audience was roaring, Tedder’s energy was contagious, and the crowd kept singing along with every lyric and won't stop dancing to every tune as “Lose Somebody”, “Sunshine”, and “I Ain’t Worried” are being performed. The iconic big hits “Apologize”, “I Lived”, “Counting Stars”, and “Lose Myself” all earned a wondrous reception from the crowd.  

An incredible part of harmony in “Apologize” was such a highlight too, turning us into a massive choir — so unitary that it could earn a place in the history of concert experience in Manila. It was a dazzling night for the adoring crowd! And when the fans started raising their cellphone lights during “Counting Stars”, the venue turned into a galaxy-glimmering world, a perfect conclusion to an already sensational evening.

“Philippines, we love you and thank you for having us. Let’s do this again next time,” as Tedder bids goodbye to another enthralling night of music, impressing fans of all ages, and with a rousing performance from start to finish — leaving us with the promise of more shows and music ahead. 

Presented by Wilbros Live, OneRepublic continues to tour in Asia with the Philippines being the band’s second stop after their performance in Hong Kong and followed by Indonesia (Feb 25), Singapore (Feb 28), Malaysia (Mar 1), Thailand (Mar 3), Taiwan (Mar 5), and Japan (Mar 7). 

Words by Jovelyn Bajo-Calingo (VerJube Photographics)
Photo by Caren Gudiaga

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