St. Augustine Amphitheatre
St. Augustine, Florida
August 28, 2009
On the second leg of the 20-date This Town tour, O.A.R. performed to a near capacity crowd of close to 4,000 at St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Friday, August 28, 2009.
The band opened the night with the light and bouncy “Something Coming Over,” a fun love song from the new album that got the crowd moving. Jerry DePizzo dominated the end of the song with a superb sax lead. The song flowed into “On Top The Cage,” from the band’s second album and first with DePizzo on board. The rythym section of Benj Gershman on bass and Chris Culos on drums kept a driving beat along with Richard On’s choppy guitar work made this a great tune to groove too. Once again DePizzo’s sax was very prominent.
The third song in the set list, “About Mr. Brown,” had a nice jazzy intro that jumps into a rockin reggae beat. Marc Roberge improvised the lyrics from the third verse, singing, “What can you say about this Florida weather;" even though it was well after 8PM, the typical heat and humidity of N.E. Florida was already taking it’s toll. It was On’s time to shine with some nice lead guitar work. The band was very tight with numerous tempo changes in this song, but always in time.
Roberge opened “King of the Thing” with smooth vocals and folksy acoustic guitar, and when the rest of the band joined in the song morphed into the reggae-inspired roots rock the band is so famous for.
Later on the stage went dark, and when the spotlights came up Roberge was on a stool by himself playing “I feel Home” on his acoustic. As the stage lights came up half way into the song there was a huge red curtain behind the rest of the band who had joined Roberge for what was to be the acoustic portion of the set.
With no formal set break (the acoustic set acted as the set break) the band settled into playing some of their more popular songs. “City On Down,” had some great vocal harmonies, and “52-50,” at over 12 minutes, was one of the more “jamming” songs of the night, highlighted by the interplay of On and DePizzo.
The three-song encore included two of the band’s more popular songs – “Black Rock,” about a small mountain in Western Maryland that used to be a hang out for the band, followed by a 16-minute version of “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker.” On’s guitar flowed back and forth, from a nice lead to the song’s reggae riff.
O.A.R. has matured over the years, and has developed into a very tight unit with good stage presence, and showed it in the country’s oldest city.