First up, straight out of Austin, Texas was Saints of Valory. Sadly I missed almost their entire set. However, the two-and-a-half songs I did catch impressed. This is a band I will be keeping my eyes on, and I'll definitely show up early the next time they roll through town.
Next was the first co-headliner, American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips. Now, I've seen the Dave Matthews Band at least ten times over the years, and if there's one thing I'm certain of it's this: Phillip Phillips is a Dave Matthews clone. This isn't any new observation, or an insult, it's just the truth. I've been saying it since he was breezing through the weeks on American Idol, as has most of the internet. It's just something completely different to actually see it in person.
Clone or no clone, though, Phillip Phillips puts on one killer show. The solos, the singles, the complete control over the stage and crowd, Phillips has it. For me, he was the highlight of the night.
Finally, O.A.R. took the stage. Now, I've seen O.A.R. at least five times over the years; the first and most notable show being a club date at Lupo's in Providence almost a whole 10 years ago in November of 2004, and the last time being six years ago at the venue currently known as the Xfinity Center. Why the six-year break? Well, it wasn't any fault of their live show, that's for sure. No, their exceedingly disappointing albums and the horrible, horrible audiences kept me away.
After Thursday's show, though, I'm back. (Though hopefully I won't have to photograph future shows from the soundboard as I did for this one.)
They brought out their expected energetic, free form set consisting equally of new cuts ("Peace" and "Two Hands Up") and crowd favorites ("Hey Girl" and "That Was a Crazy Game of Poker"). Highlights here included their phenomenal Frankenstein creation comprised of "City on Down" and "Delicate Few" and a breathtaking rendition of "Irish Rose" with special guest, Stephen Kellogg. While I'm not the biggest fan of their newer material, there's one thing I'll cave in on; it's all much better live.
The only 'meh' part of the night was their closing with Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline." (We get it, you're in Boston. It's tiring already.)
1. About Mr. Brown
2. This Town
3. Love and Memories
5. Two Hands Up
6. Shattered (Turn the Car Around)
7. Hey Girl
8. Right on Time
9. Favorite Song
10. Night Shift
11. I Will Find You
13. We'll Pick Up Where We Left Off
14. Irish Rose (w/ Stephen Kellogg)
15. City on Down/Delicate Few
17. That Was a Crazy Game of Poker
18. Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond cover w/ Stephen Kellogg)
Enjoy the slideshow above, and like my Facebook page for many more coming soon.