When marketing to young people few things are going to get their attention more than the combination of music, video games, cool toys and free.
That's exactly what Samsung and AT&T did Tuesday night when the two companies rented out the beautiful Fox Theatre in downtown Oakland to push its new Samsung Infuse 4G smartphone, which is available on AT&T's network.
To get the word out, the companies invited One Republic to play a free one-hour show to a packed house as part of its national Samsung AT&T Summer Krush concert series.
The evening was the convergence of tech and cool as a young audience -- some who came with their parents -- played video games on phones connected to giant plasma televisions, posed for pictures on sets with special lighted backdrops and enjoyed a few drinks before One Republic took the stage just after 9:30 p.m.
"Samsung AT&T Summer Krush is about understanding the entertainment experiences you can achieve with our phones, and allows us to showcase our support of popular, as well as up-and-coming musicians," Danielle Dorfman, a PR representative for the national concert series, said.
The tour traveled across the country for the fourth year and this year's series featured acts such as Coldplay, Lenny Kravitz, Bush and more. Each year features a different phone with different acts.
Fans were allowed to attend the show for free by going on the Samsung AT&T Summer Krush website and signing up for tickets.
Doors opened an hour and a half before the show and music lovers were treated to several interactive displays showing off the Infuse's capabilities, including a built-in Angry Birds feature, an 8-megapixel camera and several other goodies that go along with Google's Android operating system.
Tuesday was Oakland's turn to host the tour before it travels to Seattle on Friday. And while the evening was all about the music once One Republic took the stage, the tech connection was not lost on the band.
"I want everyone who is here alone to raise their hand," One Republic lead singer Ryan Tedder said before adding that those raising their hands should have visited Match.com before coming to the show.
The band opened with a cover of U2's "With or Without You" before playing several of their own hits such as "Apologize" and "All the Right Moves." The boys from Colorado Springs also tried out a yet-to- be recorded track called "Life in Color."
Tickets for Friday's party are still available.