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Live Review: OneRepublic, Emma Birdsall

21 November 2013 | 5:56 pm | Milly Mead

The Colorado rockers ensured it was lively, lighthearted and impossible to avoid dancing badly to the upbeat vibes; surely that’s a good checklist for a quality night.

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Emma Birdsall sat down to a small crowd at The Star Event Centre on Tuesday night. However, she was clearly delighted with the turn-out. Perched casually on stool and surrounded by her drummer, keyboardist and guitarists, she delivered a relaxed set of covers mixed with some of her own rather generic love songs. As Birdsall's voice and confidence grew throughout the set, so did the milling crowds. While some of the material covered was slightly uninspiring at times, she successfully fulfilled her brief to warm up the audience. A jazzed-up rendition of Justin Timberlake's Suit & Tie was the highlight of the performance – props to her for having a go at Jay-Z's rap.

As the introduction to Light It Up leaked through the speakers after a 20-minute break, shadows were projected onto a screen draped from the ceiling high above, concealing the stage and figures behind – it was all very mysterious and exciting. The screen dropped and the OneRepublic were revealed, raring to go. This playful addition to the set established the scene for a performance that was energetic and unpredictable. There was smoke, there was confetti fluttering down on the crowd and there was even an unexpected cover of Kanye West's Gold Digger. At one point the track Apologise took a turn and morphed into an acoustic rendition of We Found Love by Rihanna and then the distinct lyrics of Matt Corby's Brother found their way into Life In Colour. Lead singer Ryan Tedder's voice is the real stand-out of this talented band, often reaching octaves unreachable by mere mortals.

OneRepublic delivered an explosive show that kept the crowd guessing. They covered a range of old and new material including tracks from their latest studio album Native. The entire album manages to maintain a steady sense of euphoria, which infected the crowd during Counting Stars and Feel Again. Old favourites from their previous two albums were served to the audience who shared a sense of nostalgia and pride because they still knew every lyric to the Stop And Stare. The Colorado rockers ensured it was lively, lighthearted and impossible to avoid dancing badly to the upbeat vibes; surely that's a good checklist for a quality night.