ONE REPUBLIC ROCKS TEL AVIV: “We know lots of acts cancel on you and we think BDS is bullshit!”
US pop rockers One Republic played their first ever Israeli concert in Tel Aviv Thursday night to 20,000 adoring fans – and they vowed it wouldn’t be their last.
Frontman and songwriter Ryan Tedder kept the crowd dancing to the band’s infectious music – and applauding his support for the Jewish state.
“I know a lot of acts cancel on you and I think it’s kind of bullshit,” he said to a resounding cheer at Hayarkon Park. “I don’t know if it’s the way we were raised, but we don’t take sides. We just love people.”
The rest of the show – with bandmates Brent Kutzle, Eddie Fisher, Drew Brown and Zach Filkins – was devoted to the Colorado-based band’s impressive array of hits, including “Apologize,” “Counting Stars,” “All the Right Moves” and “Stop and Stare.” It was clear from their very first moment on stage that they came here to perform – and give it their all. The band played cello, Spanish guitar, violin and of course piano, drums, bass and everything in between. At times they moved closer to the audience and Tedder regularly reached out into the crowd as he sang, always to cheers of delight.
When they performed their smash hit “Good Life,” the screen interspersed shots of cities around the world with video of Tel Aviv – from the beach to Carmel Market and Rabin Square, before displaying a huge Israeli flag. Even the lyrics got a personalized touch, becoming “My friends in LA they don’t know/ Where I’ve been for past few years or so/ From Paris to China to Israel.”
Tedder also echoed the feeling of most of the crowd when he thanked God “for the weather cooling off a little.”
The band also played some of their lesser known songs, like “Preacher,” “Au Revoir” and “Can’t Stop” – though die-hard fans were still singing along to every word. Mixing things up a little, they threw in a few covers as well, including “Budapest” by George Ezra and Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World.”
While they had the legions of screaming fans that turned out just like they did for the Backstreet Boys a week earlier, One Republic proved that they’re no boy band – they have the musical and vocal chops to impress all ages.
The members of the band landed in Israel late Sunday night, four days ahead of their show, to spend time touring the country, they said. They met up with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, toured the old city of Jaffa and visited the Sea of Galilee. They even paid a surprise visit to the IDF soldiers manning an Iron Dome battery near Ashkelon, telling then they feel safer in Israel than anywhere else in the world.
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