It’s been a decade and a half since the original quartet of Marc Roberge, Chris Culos, Richard On and Benj Gershman came together as Of a Revolution in their Rockville, Md., hometown. The high-schoolers recorded and released their 1997 debut, The Wanderer, and then all four members relocated to Columbus, Ohio, in order to attend The Ohio State University.
By all rights, the rigors of college life and the natural stresses of leaving home should have forced the band members to set aside their commitment to O.A.R., if not abandon it altogether. But the foursome kept the band intact by playing every Columbus gig offered (the group also recorded 2000’s Souls Aflame while still students) and, in doing so, created a solid fan base that grew with the band and continued to follow O.A.R. long after the members’ OSU days were over.
With the addition of Jerry DePizzo, O.A.R. dropped its third album, 2001’s Risen, which just barely missed the Top 10 of Billboard’s Internet Sales Chart; the following year saw the release of Any Time Now, which sold enough units to get the independent band on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart.
O.A.R. performs Friday at PNC Pavilion with SOJA and Kelley James. Go here to read Brian Baker's full Sound Advice.