Denver Acoustic Christmas: OneRepublic, the Flobots at the Ogden Theatre, 12/21/12 (photos, review)By Paige Montgomery | December 24th, 2012 | 3 comments
Denver Acoustic Christmas is much more than a holiday-themed concert. The annual event pioneered by OneRepublic frontman, Ryan Tedder, and hosted by the band’s Good Life Foundation, brings together the biggest names in Colorado music. The event is not only a celebration of the holiday season, but it serves as an opportunity to give back to those in need.
Friday’s concert at the Ogden Theatre brought back the Flobots (who performed at the first Denver Acoustic Christmas in December of 2011), newcomer Zach Heckendorf and Big Head Todd and the Monsters; who unbeknownst to fans performed with a very ill Todd Park Mohr. Mohr, who according to band members had been feeling sick all day, was rushed out of the venue immediately following the band’s set to receive medical attention.
Following Big Head Todd was a surprise cameo by the legendary John Oates of Hall and Oates. Oates currently lives in Aspen and joined the bill last minute and thrilled concertgoers with a short set backed by OneRepublic. The three-song effort included a version of “Maneater” with Tedder on tambourine and backup vocals.
The guest list at the Ogden read like a who’s who of Colorado. Scattered throughout the sold-out venue were popular radio personalities, record label execs and even Gov. John Hickenlooper — who contributed to the founding of the Denver Acoustic Christmas. Everyone in attendance, VIP or not, were treated to an intimate headlining set by OneRepublic and members the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. The set featured the band’s biggest hits such as “Apologize” and “The Good Life” as well as the brand new “If I Lose Myself.” However, the most touching moments of the night were renditions of “Let It Snow” and “Silent Night” performed while faux-snow fell over the Ogden crowd.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Children’s Hospital, Food Bank of the Rockies and Denver Santa Claus Shop. Tedder also encouraged fans to contribute to the band’s Indiegogo campaign to help the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The fund, which began with a goal of raising $50,000 in 30 days, surpassed that number in less than 24 hours. As of Friday night the band’s fund had reached $142,000 thanks in part to generous donations from Gavin Degraw, Train, Justin Timberlake and more, according to Tedder. “I reached a tipping where I was sick of it. I had no idea where to direct my anger,” Tedder said. “You can’t control crazy, you can’t get rid of evil, but the thing you can control is what you do with your time and money.”
Tedder ended the night with a plea to the Lumineers to perform at next year’s Denver Acoustic Christmas: “That’s called peer pressure, y’all”.
John Leyba is a Denver Post photojournalist and regular contributor to Reverb.
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