Concert Review: Hunter Hayes in Atlanta

by Spencer Bobo

For those in attendance at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA, on November 3rd, the evening proved to be an extremely memorable one.  Gathered to see Hunter Hayes perform his first show in Atlanta, the crowd got much more than a just a concert.

The doors at the venue opened at 7:30pm, just about the same time that power went out throughout the entire neighborhood. With fears of a cancellation circling throughout the crowd, Hunter appeared on the candle-lit stage to say he would wait it out and, at the very least, perform an acoustic set for the gathered fans.  After almost two hours, the power was restored and the show began.

At first glance, one might think that Hunter is the Justin Beiber of Country Music.  However, once you hear him perform, this proves not to be the case.  At only twenty years of age, he is already an accomplished musician on numerous instruments including the guitar, drums, bass and piano,  just to name a few.  On top of this he is a very talented singer and songwriter.

The show finally began around nine o’clock and the band wasted no time in getting the crowd jumping.  Playing every song off his recently released self-titled album, Hunter showed his skills with guitar solos, singing, and stage presence that defied his age.  When most twenty-somethings are struggling with their Public Speaking 101 courses, he is on stage entertaining a mass of screaming fans without showing any signs of hesitation.  Clearly born with a natural gift for music, Hunter treated the audience to a show they will always remember, and this is what shows are all about; memories.

Prior to the show I was able to talk with few audience members and noticed a several interesting things.  The crowd gathered in front of the stage was primarily young girls in their early and mid-teens, while the audience in the seats were older.  When asked how many of those seated were parents of the teens up front, almost all of them raised their hands.  One mother informed us that she had driven her daughter and a few friends all the way from Birmingham, Alabama for the show.

To have such devoted fans is a great thing for any artist, but especially for someone so early in their career.  At one point, Hunter invited three girls on stage to write ATLANTA, GEORGIA on the front of the piano to mark his first time playing here.  For those girls, that will be a memory they will cherish for their entire lives.

Artists connecting with their audiences like that are what will save the music industry during difficult times.  After all, it isn’t always fancy lighting and incendiary guitar work that people come to see.  They want to see performers doing what they love and having fun doing it.  Hunter Hayes is no exception to this.  An extremely talented musician and a genuinely nice person who can clearly bond with his audience, Hayes is someone that will go very far in today’s music world.

For more about Hunter, visit his website at www.hunterhayes.com

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