When O.A.R. multi-instrumentalist Jerry DePizzo thinks about the Maryland band’s tours, he recalls love and memories.
Within seconds of hearing the word “Phoenix,” he thinks Celebrity Theatre and its quirky revolving stage.
“It’s one of my favorites, in a weird and wild sort of way,” he said with a laugh. “It’s quirky. There’s nothing else like it. It’s a great room and when it’s at capacity, the audience has the ability to be a lot louder.”
The guitarist/saxophonist fondly recalled the Valley, and venues around the state. On Friday, July 15, O.A.R. will kick off its summer jaunt with G. Love and Dispatch at the Mesa Amphitheatre.
“We’re excited to go out with Dispatch this summer,” he said. “That one’s been three years in the making. Any time OAR is going out with Dispatch, it’s a good idea.”
O.A.R. – which features vocalist/guitarist Marc Roberge; lead guitarist Richard On; drummer Chris Culos; bassist Benj Gershman and DePizzo – formed in high school and this year rings in 25 years.
Sticking with its moniker, Of a Revolution, the band helms Heard the World Foundation, which raises money to create education-based opportunities, including music therapy programs in hospitals, scholarships, donating computers to schools and provided an infrastructure in Flint to help with the ongoing water crisis.
July 15 is a special day for O.A.R., best known for the hits “Shattered” and “Love and Memories.” That morning, it releases its 10th studio album, “Arcade,” which features the first single, “In the Clouds.”
The “In the Clouds” video features Barstool Sports’ John Feitelberg in singer Marc Roberge’s treatment.
“It was a great experience from soup to nuts,” he said.
“It’s rare when you have an idea or a vision for something and it gets executed. All the pieces fell into place. When we were initially talking about it, we said it’ll be light, super positive, and put a smile on people’s faces. People are enjoying it and it’s bringing a sound that’s not only for people familiar with O.A.R., but others as well.”
DePizzo compared “Arcade” to video games — each song has its own story behind it.
“The album is a collection of all of those sounds and styles of O.A.R.,” he said.
“We never tried to define ourselves as one thing. We’re a collection of five guys coming together with musical taste and interest, throwing it in a pot and out comes O.A.R. It’s certainly very much in that vein.”
DePizzo revealed O.A.R. cowrote a song with Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, “Over My Head.”
“It’s an earwig that — even as I’m saying the title of that song — is earwigged into my brain and lasts the rest of the day. I enjoy this album.”
DePizzo described the album as trademark O.A.R., which is rooted in early Genesis and Phil Collins.
“That was imprinted into our brains, watching it on TV and live concert videos, along with UB40, Sting and Police,” he said. “Those kinds of sounds and elements and textures really played a part in this album.”
If You Go...
Who: O.A.R. and Dispatch w/ G. Love
Where: Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center St., Mesa
When: 6 p.m. Friday, July 15
Cost: Tickets Start At $48.75