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O.A.R. rocks the green in Scottsdale

For those of you out of the loop, the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale is not just about golf. It also offers big concerts.

Thursday night, the tourney brought together the Chadwicks, DJ Roonie G, and O.A.R. for a one-off gig.

The Chadwicks are the self-proclaimed premier rock-and-roll cover band in Arizona. Closing with Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl” brought a massive sing-a-long among the crowd that was anywhere between the ages 18 and 60 plus.

DJ Roonie G, the next act, was a specialist in video DJ-ing. He mashed music videos, movie scenes and YouTube clips to create interesting compositions, including the “300’s” hit track “This Is Sparta!” woven into Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name.” He also combined Queen’s “Under Pressure,” with the notorious Vanilla Ice version of “Ice Ice Baby.”

To top it all off, O.A.R. closed the show with a two-hour set. Even though it wasn’t O.A.R.’s typical crowd, with a large proportion of middle-age golf enthusiasts, the band really came out to play. Starting with a new song written via Twitter posts, “Light Switch Sky” set the tone of the night with its chill vibe and rocking chorus.

The set included fan favorites “One Shot” and “Crazy Game Of Poker,” as well as full-blown sing-a-longs for “Shattered,” “Hey Girl” and “Love and Memories.”

The thing about an O.A.R. show is that you have to be in the heart of the audience to get the full experience. If sitting in a VIP area or by the bar, you’ll miss the show. Even if you don’t know the words, it’s easy to blend in and pick songs up, as evident from the 40-somethings in the crowd singing “Hey Girl.”

O.A.R. even seemed surprised by the crowd’s energy. Each song seemed to gain momentum as the show went on. Solos were getting intense, especially from saxophone player Jerry De Pizzo. Marc Roberge, lead vocalist, kept his cool, but it was clear that he was feeding off the energy.

To quote my devoted O.A.R. friends, the band killed it Thursday night. Even those who were initially not fans of the band left knowing they had seen an amazing live performance.

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