Hailing from Rockville, Maryland, OAR is a funk filled, hard rocking, jazz-infused, fun-fest. OAR is one of those rare bands that built their following the old fashioned way; they went out and earned it. Constant touring (which they still do to this day), coupled with heavy internet and CD music distribution amongst college campuses is what got them their big fan base. In the early days of their formation, word of mouth was their best friend, and the word was out. OAR was a hot new band that people had to check out for themselves.
Lead singer and acoustic guitarist, Marc Roberge, has a very distinct sound and writing style that adds to the beauty of the music. A deep voice with a touch of smoker’s rasp, Roberge can get loud when necessary, and he can hit the high notes as noted on their latest hit, Shattered.
Some critics have tried to write the band off as immature with meaningless lyrics, but they obviously missed the big picture and essence of OAR. They are a college party band that has grown up over the years and are now in the post-quarter life crisis stage of their existence. In the early days, the lyrics represented partying, having fun, and long musical jams. That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker is required listening for anyone who wants to know OAR’s signature sound.
Now that they’ve grown, so have their lyrics. Pain, love loss, life decisions, the challenge of being a married man with child while touring for fans; it’s all spelled out in their music, and it all packs quite a punch. When Marc Roberge sings, we can feel the emotion that went into the song.
However, he’s not the only meaningful member of the band. All of them are just as essential in the creation of the music and sound. OAR, at their core, is 5 best friends making music together.
Richard On is about the most underrated guitarist there is, and a lot of that is due to the lack of exposure that he receives. Media magazines don’t pick up on him or the band, because they don’t think it will help sell their product. But if you listen to Richard’s playing on Live from Madison Square Garden you know that this gentleman is up there with today’s greats, and could hold his own against any guitarist that wanted to duel.
Jerry DePizzo plays the saxophone and is a nice addition to the band. On the early independent records, Jerry was not present (since he had not yet joined the band) and there is a complete difference in the music. With the addition of Jerry and his saxophone, the music progressed and evolved into the signature sound that now encompasses the band. A jazz-infused funky flavor that makes you tap your feet, snap your fingers, sing along, and wish for a good time.
Having sold out Madison Square Garden twice, selling over a million albums, and touring across the globe (excessively and incessantly in the USA), OAR is a secret no more. They gain more and more recognition with each passing day, and they are poised to be the next Dave Matthews Band, (or any other household band name that you’d care to use).
Want to know more? Check out the band’s website here:
Here’s Tragedy In Waiting
And here’s OAR performing this past New Year’s Eve
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