Walking around downtown Atlanta last night, it was easy to see who was going to the same place I was. Curls, cowboy boots, and dresses were everywhere. This was my first time seeing Hunter Hayes in concert and I’m a huge fan so I was super excited that this show was my first time covering a show.
First up was Ashley Monroe. In case you didn’t know, she is beautiful singer-songwriter from Knoxville and a part of Pistol Annies (along with Miranda Lambert and Angeleena Presley). She covered Miranda’s hit, “Heart Like Mine,” and fun.’s smash, “Carry On.” She also played some of her own hits like “Satisfied” and “Can’t Let Go.”
While they were setting up for Hunter, everything the crew brought out had his signature lyrics written on it: on the set, piano, guitars, drums, etc. There were SEVEN acoustic guitars ready to be played. As I was contemplating why someone needs seven guitars on stage at one time, the lights dimmed and it got LOUD – a stark contrast from the soothing acoustic set from Ashley. As soon as the first note started for “Storm Warning,” everyone went wild. As soon as 22-year-old Hunter Hayes took the stage in a black shirt, jeans and a jean jacket, the energy didn’t stop for over 2 hours.
“This is the one place where you can be crazy and not be judged for it,” he said right before he played his hit, “Somebody’s Heartbreak.” The three-time Grammy nominee and two-time American Country Award winner was so humble as he expressed his love for Atlanta several times and said how he was still trying to process he was playing somewhere as beautiful as The Fox Theatre.
He made seamless transitions from rock “Light Me Up” to acoustic “Rainy Season” and piano ballads “Wanted.” When he first took to the piano, he said, “You didn’t think I would come here and not play something like this,” and played “Georgia On My Mind.” The crowd exploded as he turned it into “Wanted.”
During “In A Song”, he brought out a loop pedal to create the beat. This was my favorite part of the show but full disclosure: I am a sucker for a loop pedal. He played the guitar like a bongo drum and then started yelling into it to make echoes – that was a first for me.
Hunter and his expressive eyebrows put on an impressive show. After “Better Than This,” he went off stage for about 10 seconds and then came back for an encore. He brought out Ashley Monroe and they sang their beautiful duet, “What You Gonna Do” and he ended the night with “I Want Crazy” and more confetti than I have ever seen in my life. The lights came up and he said goodbye. As we turned to leave I looked back on the stage and even though the band was gone, he was on stage shaking everyone’s hands and giving autographs and showed no sign of leaving anytime soon. It was an incredible show done by a pretty incredible guy.
Can’t Say Love
Faith to Fall Back On
A Thing About You
Love Makes Me
Cry With You
All You Ever
In A Song
If You Told Me To
Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me
On Top of the World (Imagine Dragons Cover)
More Than I Should
Where We Left Off (Act of Valor Soundtrack)
Georgia on My Mind (Ray Charles Cover)
Light Me Up
Better Than This
What You Gonna Do (Duet with Ashley Monroe)
I Want Crazy