Mandalay Bay Beach, Sept. 16

The clear night sky was a great backdrop for a relaxing yet energetic poolside concert by alterna-pop group OneRepublic. Lead singer Ryan Tedder bounced around the stage with enormous amounts of energy as he sang and played keyboards during fan favorites “Apologize” and “Good Life,” their newest hit.

“We are on a beach in the middle of the desert; it can’t get much better than this,” Tedder told a crowd that was also enjoying the beach atmosphere. Some were wading ankle-deep in the pool, and others were sitting on blankets.

OneRepublic’s uplifting lyrics can send just about anyone into bliss, and this performance was no different. It was evident that everybody—from the soccer mom to the tattooed couple—was sharing in the fun while they bobbed their heads up and down and danced to the catchy tunes.

OneRepublic played several songs from their most recent album, Waking Up, and had the crowd singing aloud to covers such as “Stand by Me” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” The quintet ended the show with the title track from Waking Up, sending the crowd home in a good mood as they shook the sand from their blankets.

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Hail Canada


Hail Canada

When fall begins, so does the new movie season, and it all happens at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival, a.k.a. TIFF. This is the biggest, friendliest, most organized film fete in the world, and a launching pad for both Oscar contenders and small low-budget independents, which in the downturn of today’s economic meltdown amounts to the same thing. The crowds seem larger than ever this year as 300,000 people beg, fight and grovel for tickets to see 336 movies in seven days made by everyone from Madonna to Francis Ford Coppola. Politely, of course. This is Canada, not Cannes.