12 Shows. Every single one I've been to has been face meltingly amazing but show #12 was something really something to be a part of!
I've been following Of A Revolution (OAR) for the past eleven years. I've been to 12 shows in four different states and seen 205 songs performed. I've heard 64 different OAR songs and 7 different cover songs. I had a chance encounter with the band at the Salt Lake airport on the way to see them at Red Rocks last October. I am a total fan girl, but I never expected to be part of history for the band. They started performing together as OAR in 1997 and since then have sold out shows across the country, including Madison Square Garden. But you know where they never performed until August 1st, 2015? The great state of Montana. So to complete playing a show in every one of the 50 states they booked themselves for the Magic City Blues festival in Billings. That show just so happened to be the only one I could make on their "Back to Rockville" tour!
Because my boyfriend is some kind of wonderful, he took it upon himself to buy me the VIP package so that I could meet them before the show. It was everything I hoped it would be. I got to talk to Marc about the tear jerking version of Two Hands Up/Reach Up for the Special Olympics. Their sax player Jerry and I share a hometown and he told me he was going back soon to celebrate his parent's 60th birthdays and enjoy some Cafe Capri (pro tip, if you ever find yourself in Boardman, OH this is the best Italian restaurant in the township!) But what really impressed me about the experience was the fact that the band took extra time to visit with a couple who used OAR's song "I Feel Home" as their wedding song.
While we were waiting to go back, the husband told me that they were supposed to see OAR in concert after their wedding last year but weren't able to make the show because of a family tragedy. His mom passed away the day that was supposed to be their wedding. At the rescheduled wedding reception, the couple's first dance was supposed to be to Travis Tritt's "Great Day To Be Alive" but it just didn't feel right anymore. Instead, they danced to OAR's "I Feel Home." The couple ended up writing to OAR to tell their story and received an autographed photo of the band. They were hoping to find out if the band themselves sent the photo or if it was just someone in their management. During our VIP meet and greet, they told the band their story again and Marc asked the tour manager to let them stay backstage longer. He ended up dedicating "I Feel Home" to the couple on stage that night.
That just shows that Marc, Jerry, Rich, Chris and Benj are not just incredible musicians but all around good, genuine human beings. Over the past 11 years I've experienced so much joy, suffered a few heartbreaks and reinvented who I am more times than someone in their late 20s would like to admit. There were times where the world felt like it was spinning so fast that I wanted to get off, but somehow life always seemed to make sense when I listened to OAR's music. The power of music to move someone and change their perspective on life is incredible. They've done that for me and that's why each one of the 12 OAR performances I've seen has been so special!