Niagara Gazette — Tonight, Artpark welcomes the return of a band whose annual summer shows in the region have been legendary. O.A.R. ‘s career was built the hard way, by extensively touring and giving their audiences a unique concert experience wherever they play.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with O.A.R. bassist and founding member Benj Gershman about the band’s approach to live music and asked him to talk about some of the band’s favorite venues, including Artpark
“Artpark is a beautiful venue and the crowds we have been lucky enough to have there have been some of the most energetic and fun audiences of our career. Having been around for 17 years, we know a good thing when we see it and we just can’t wait to get back there,” Gershman said during our phone interview.
The band performed to a packed house at Artpark last year, and they return with a couple of friends in tow, Andrew McMahon and Allen Stone. It’s enough music to push this year’s start time up to 5 p.m.
“The shows we have been playing with Andrew McMahon and Allen Stone are some of the best of our career. We all get along so well and the backstage area has been so lively and happy. We have a great vibe going on backstage and we know the audiences are feeling that as well out in front of the stage.”
It truly is a friendly affair, McMahon and Stone don’t just hop on the tour bus for an early evening when their set is finished.
“At the end of our set we have all been getting together onstage and doing a cover of “Live and Let Die.” We may be doing that one or another cover.”
One never really knows what songs O.A.R. is performing. Like many so-called “jam bands,” they play a different set of songs in each city.