The second day of Musikfest ended up taking place in near perfect fashion despite all the worries and stress that some morning/early afternoon rain had caused. As thousands descended upon the Sands SteelStage as doors opened at 7 for another night, the sun was high and the sky and very few clouds were in sight. The night begin promptly at 7:30 with a talent musician who has been on the rise the past few months named Serena Ryder.
Her short set was very honest and it featured her with an acoustic guitar most of the time, though we were treated to an appearance of an electric guitar later in the set. Though some fans didn’t know much about Serena Ryder before the show you could see their genuine interest in her as she was performing and when she played her radio hit, “Stompa,” people began singing along on the choruses.
It is always a great feeling to be pleasantly surprised by an artist’s performance, especially from an opening act such as Serena. She is going to be someone to keep an eye on over the next year or so.
I wish I could say that the next act, Mayer Hawthorne, was as good as Serena Ryder but he fell short by a lot in Bethlehem last night which was a true disappointment. Having heard some his songs before on Youtube I thought I knew what to expect but the performance was nearly the complete opposite. His vocals were off, I’m not sure if this was a problem with the mix or if his voice was just being run through far to many filters. When he walked out on stage in a suit I thought we would be treated to a very classy said but it didn’t pan out that way. Maybe it was just an off night for Mayer Hawthorne, or maybe he should just stick to the studio and leave touring to other artists.
After hours of anticipation the time had arrived yet again for the headlining act to take to the Sands SteelStage. At 930pm OneRepublic emerged on stage behind a white curtain that was illuminated like the sun, allowing the silhouettes to be seen and not much else for the entirety of the first song, “Light it Up.” The moment that curtain dropped the band transitioned quickly into long-time fan favorite, “Secrets,” and that made the crowd go wild.
The band was also quick to point out that this was their first time in Bethlehem and also took that time to encourage fans to tag photos of the show with #1RMUSIKFEST so they could be shared via the band’s social media outlets. By the time 11 rolled around OneRepublic had belted out a 17 song which featured everything from “All The Right Moves” to a finale of “If I Lose Myself.” The band’s stage set up/lighting proved to be visually stunning the entire time but very difficult to photograph due to it’s heavy usage of LED lights and LED screen behind the band.
Day 2 of Musikfest ended on just as high of note as Day 1 did with Carly Rae Jepsen. It is fair to say that OneRepublic isn’t just a band, they are a group of individually talented musicians that come together to form something remarkable. They made history this year at Musikfest with their first performance in the Bethlehem area and I know for a fact that people can’t wait for them to come back soon. Be sure to check out our formal review of the show below as well as our exclusive photo gallery below.