When you’re happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You gotta take it in
This song is the summary of how I felt during and after my first concert.
My first concert where I saw and heard OneRepublic live- OneRepublic, my favorite band since 8th grade when I first discovered them. How is this real life? I don’t freaking know, mate. All I know is I was there. I saw them. I heard them.
It was the best night of my life.
As I’ve mentioned before, I went to the concert with an old friend, Sid. It was with her that I had first discovered OneRepublic back in 8th grade. I heard my first OneRepublic song, Secrets, in the movie Sorcerer’s Apprentice and it got stuck in my head till I finally looked it up and sang it everywhere all the time.
I remember singing it in front of Sid so much in school that she finally broke and asked me what song it is. Next thing I know, she went ahead and made it her personal mission to make 1R the soundtrack of her life. I’m not even kidding, she started listening to all of their songs with such a ridiculous passion that I was sucked in too until both of us were writing their lyrics at the back of our notebooks, crossing off the albums and songs- popular and unpopular- that we had downloaded, stalking them online, listening to their years’ old interviews, reading their Wikipedia page half a dozen times- trust me, we knew how to get obsessed.
We’ve had so many adventures with their songs. I remember we joined this Facebook group called OneRepublicans From Everywhere and that used to be the highlight of our days. I met some really good friends because of that group, too. We were so far gone that we actually got triggered if people compared OneRepublic to One Direction or even if they added a space between “One” and “Republic” because it’s supposed to be one word. I even had a crush on Zach Filkins, their lead guitarist.
I know. We were idiots.
I was so excited for their fourth album, Oh My My, which was released in 2017- four years since Native, their third album. This was the first album that they were releasing since I became their fan so it was a huge deal.
Such a huge deal, in fact, that Sid and I actually painted the name of their opening single- Wherever I Go- on the wall of her terrace in celebration for the album to come out.
I don’t think I ever fell out of love with them but I definitely didn’t listen to them as much as I used to after that. Instead of the soundtrack, they kind of became the background music for a long time.
UNTIL I SAW THE FREAKING BOOK MY SHOW STORY TELLING ME THAT ONEREPUBLIC IS COMING TO INDIA.
I was jumping up and down like a lunatic, calling people and screaming into the phone and hugging my mom for no reason at all. It was like I was taken over by 8th grade Nimika.
I called Sid and we begged our parents and we made plans and it was a thing. We were actually going. We were actually going to see OneRepublic live.
On the day of the concert, 21st April, my mom drove us to Mumbai- where the concert was held. It was a five hour long road trip and the whole time, we were singing out loud to their songs.
And then we reached Mumbai……
We reached the concert venue, NSCI Dome, saw this and proceeded to freak out:
We got our tickets, wristbands and had to wait in line for some time. We heard some guys behind us talking about some of the old OneRepublic songs and oh man, did I want to strike a PowerPoint generated conversation with them about how great the band really is.
And then we finally got in. We had the silver tickets so we were on the upper amphitheater with a direct view of the stage. The opening act, OneEmpire, played for an hour and even though they were good, I honestly couldn’t care because I was SHOOK TO THE CORE BEING IN THE SAME ROOM AS ONE-FREAKING-REPUBLIC.
After a looooong wait, OneRepublic finally came on the stage. I’m telling you, I’ve never felt so… unreal as I did when Ryan sang the first few lines of Stop and Stare, their opening song. It was m a g i c a l.
And then I was truly so close to tears when I heard Brent play the opening Cello sequence of Secrets.
They played Secrets, y’all. The song that started it all for me, the song I sang all the freaking time, the song whose chorus gives me chills till this very day. To think that I was actually singing the song with thousands of people to Ryan’s unfiltered, live voice instead of in my room with my headphones on was…. out of this world.
Another one of those Magical moments was when they played I Lived (hands down their best lyrics yet) and they were singing the chorus and Ryan went absolutely mental with the falsetto. I remember screaming to those lyrics-
I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone
I swear I lived
–and feeling so powerful and exuberant and magical. It was amazing.
They also sang Better- a song I was not expecting them to play- but was so glad that they did because it basically got me through my Final exams lol.
I have never sweated so much as I did at the concert (that is a valid way of burning calories, right?) or sang so loudly- my throat actually hurt the next day. I’ve never felt so euphoric and emotional either. That was one night I’ll never, ever forget.
So, thank you, OneRepublic, for giving us this night.