Catching Up with O.A.R.

The band O.A.R. has been around since the members' high school days, but since then the group has sold more than 2 million albums and developed a loyal following. With previous stops at Tipitina's, House of Blues and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the band knows New Orleans well. The group is back in New Orleans this week for a performance at the Allstate Fan Fest, a free event happening Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, and Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014, before the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

We recently talked to drummer Chris Culos, who was happy to talk about how much he and the rest of O.A.R.'s members like playing in New Orleans. “The city has a lot of charm,” Culos says. “The people are great. The food is amazing. It’s a city you can explore. Even if you’ve been there before, you can constantly find something new.”

Culos adds that while not every city they visit on tour is exciting, the bandmates like to spend time in New Orleans when they're here. “When you’re in a city like New Orleans, you’re just forced to go out and check stuff out,” Culos says.

It's an exciting time for O.A.R. right now as the group is working on a new album, which Culos is hoping will come out in May 2014. O.A.R. also has a big summer tour planned, with stops all over the U.S., Culos says. “This summer you’re going to see an O.A.R. experience you’ve never seen before.”

Lots of O.A.R. fans love the group's live shows, which is something Culos thinks has helped maintain the band's strong fanbase. “Our live show is really fun,” Culos says. “We never play the same show twice. Even if you’ve heard the song before, you’re going to get a revamped version of it. For us, it’s fun because it keeps it fresh. For the audience, it gives them a reason to come back year after year.”

O.A.R. performs at the Allstate Fan Fest at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, in Jackson Square. Imagine Dragons is headlining the festival with a performance Wednesday, Jan. 1, in Jackson Square. Both concerts are free and open to the public. Check out our calendar for more information.


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