with special guests Allen Stone and Brynn Elliott
Sunday, August 9
Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza
Price: $45 / $35 / Steel Terrace: $169
6:15pm Brynn Elliott
7:15pm Allen Stone
Classic American author Thomas Wolfe famously stated “you can’t go home again,”but don’t tell that to the members of O.A.R. On their eighth studio album, THE ROCKVILLE LP, the shape-shifting rock band found that returning home triggered a journey of creative renewal and inspiration.
“This isn’t about us going back to our musical roots per se,”says lead singer Marc Roberge, who founded O.A.R. in 1996 with his Rockville, Md. high school classmates, drummer Chris Culos, guitarist Richard On, and bassist Benj Gershman (saxophonist Jerry DePizzo joined while the group was at Ohio State University). “It’s about us getting inspired by the place we came from. We’d drive the same roads, visit the old haunts, spend time with our people. Rockville was the catalyst then, and it’s the catalyst now.”
For the first time in a while, the band found that visiting their Maryland hometown gave them a sense of peace. For years, they had been pushing themselves to reach new levels of success, searching for their place in the world. Plus, turbulent times within their personal lives had led them to a slightly disconnected state.“I went home to Maryland many times while making this album and based these songs on all the familiar feelings that Rockville gave me,”Roberge says. “I tried to focus in on the simple things that always made this band so creative and driven. For everyone in the band, this was a restart. We’ve been hanging out, enjoying life, letting things go…The whole album is about a reboot.”
That sense of renewal is evident on the first single, the deep, yearning “Peace.”“As we were writing it, I felt the weight of three years lift off my shoulders,”Roberge says. “We wrote it about getting back to that even playing field after you go through turbulent times. It’s about what I see people going through all around me, everyone deserves second, third, fourth chances.”
Roberge wrote “Peace”with Blair Daly and Nashville-based producer Nathan Chapman, best known for his work with Taylor Swift, after Roberge introduced himself to Chapman at an event in Los Angeles. The two got along so well that, in addition to “Peace,”their writing sessions yielded three other songs: “Favorite Song,”“Two Hands Up”and “We’ll Pick Up Where We Left Off.”Chapman produced “Favorite Song”and “Two Hands Up,”while Gregg Wattenberg, who co-wrote O.A.R.’s No. 1 smash, “Shattered (Turn the Car Around),”produced “Peace.”Chapman and Wattenberg shared production duties on “We’ll Pick Up Where We Left Off.”With those four tracks serving as the foundation for the album and as a boost to the band’s confidence, Roberge produced the rest of the tracks on THE ROCKVILLE LP including a co-production with Jerry DePizzo on “The Element.”“We felt like we were on to something with an overwhelming freedom to chase down some more songs,”Roberge says.
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