On Thursday, Nov. 10, Dangermuffin and O.A.R. (short for “Of A Revolution”) came ready for a nightlong jam session in the Nelson Field House here at Bloomsburg University. The event drew an attendance that neared one thousand to the annual fall concert hosted by the BU Concert Committee.
O.A.R. consists of frontman and lead vocalist Marc Roberge along with guitarist Richard On, bassist Benj Gershman, drummer Chris Culos, and jack-of-all-trades Jerry DePizzo.
O.A.R. opened strong and continued throughout the night playing a mixture of their classics and new works. Their old-school catalogue contains the college mainstays “That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker,” “The Wanderer,” and “Black Rock.” Their newer, contemporary mainstream hits are known in a much wider arena. Songs like “Shattered,” “Love and Memories,” and “Lay Down,” have drawn a more widespread fan-base and have even been incorporated into commercials and TV shows.
On Friday, Nov. 11, Jerry DePizzo took time out of his schedule to talk with BUnow about himself and O.A.R. – past, present, and future. As a point-of-order, DePizzo fills several positions within the band simultaneously – switching between saxophone, guitar, and back-up vocals.
The first thing I can think to ask is exactly what I asked myself at the concert – Does it really feel like O.A.R. has been playing together for over a decade?
“It feels like it’s always been this way… like we’ve never been apart from each other,” Depizzo said.
While some things have stayed the same, many things have changed drastically for the five-piece. After years of touring and proving themselves nationally, the band has received some well-earned rest and relaxation.
“We’ve slowed down over the years -by our own choice- because we all have families now,” DePizzo said, pointing out that it is important to create a balance between family and the band.
Even though they have slowed down recently, it was the near 15 years of touring and performing around the world that allowed them to do so.
“It’s good to be able to pick and choose a little bit… it gives us the freedom to see our families,” DePizzo said.
Other than getting back to play in his hometown, DePizzo listed a few other highlights in his career.
“The show at Madison Square Garden was one that was a culmination for us,” DePizzo said, “also the Rain or Shine show was, I think, a very special two days for us.”
Both of those concerts were live-recorded and later released on CD.
From their small-town beginnings to their current standing as champions of the arena, O.A.R. continues to make it a point to honor the small towns that made them famous.
“It was a great audience and a good turnout, and everyone was having fun,” DePizzo said when asked about their performance at BU in the Nelson Field House.
O.A.R. has released eleven albums in 14 years, and they will likely remain a constant in mainstream music for years to come. Whether it’s folk-rock, reggae, or contemporary alternative music, the genre matters not when concerning O.A.R.
Here is a look at their viability in modern music. One thing is for certain… O.A.R. will be around for a while.
O.A.R.- That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker
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O.A.R.- Heaven (off their new album King)
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Any way you analyze it – the show was great, people had fun, and the community came out in droves. What else could you want? Thanks O.A.R.!