Mainstream rock band O.A.R. recently took to the stage for the sold-out HWS Welcome Back Concert at the Smith Opera House in downtown Geneva. Sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, the show also featured HWS student band Mojo as the opening act.
Mojo, a six-piece ensemble is comprised of Dylan Corbett ’14 on the drums, Louis Padnos on guitar, Will Mosto ’15 on guitar and vocals, Grace Bugbee ’16 on bass and vocals, Jordan Loretz ’17 on the saxophone, and Max Eyle ’15 at the harmonica.
O.A.R and Mojo seemed to be a perfect pairing, as Corbett describes their own style as a mixture of funk, blues, and jam music.
“Playing with O.A.R was an incredible experience,” Corbett says. “It was the biggest crowd we’ve ever played in front of, and the Smith Opera House is such a great venue. It was definitely a privilege to play in a space like that.”
The Welcome Back Concert was organized by the Concert Advisory Committee, a branch of the Office of Student Activities. The committee consists of Joshua Kreeger-Smith ’16, Hannah Sorgi ’14, Steve Webster ’14, James Deitrich ’14 and Sima Rana ’15.
“It was great to have O.A.R. at The Smith,” says Webster. “They’re a really good band live and it was even better by the amount of people that packed into the Smith to make it a successful concert.”
O.A.R. was grateful to play for everyone and it showed, says Assistant Director of Student Activities Jessie Marullo. “I would like to thank a hardworking student staff that helped set up the Smith and make the concert possible,” she says.
Those students are: Tolu Aboyade-Cole ’15, Talia Azour ’16, Ray Ma ’17, Rick Yackel ’16, Yuki Ge ’14, Aminata Dansoko ’15, Jill Collins ’15, and Adriana Ureña ’16.
In a review in The New York Times, Kelefa Sanneh wrote, “It’s hard to imagine a more mainstream rock band than O.A.R., the hugely popular group that came to New York on Saturday night. O.A.R.’s music is a genial blend of straightforward rock and light reggae (or, mathematically: Matchbox Twenty plus Maroon 5 plus UB40). The members exude professionalism, running the band like a small corporation. And Saturday’s concert was proof that this approach has worked: O.A.R. sold out Madison Square Garden.”
To date the band has sold close to two million albums and more than two million concert tickets, including three sold-out shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Their most recent studio album, “King,” debuted in 2011 at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart, three on the Billboard Digital Album Chart, and was three at iTunes on the day of the release. The album was the follow-up to the band’s 2008 release, “All Sides,” which contains the platinum hit radio single “Shattered.”
O.A.R. has released a number of records of their live performances including most recently a performance at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo., titled “Live on Red Rocks.”
More information about O.A.R. is available on the band’s website.