So far I’ve seen tons of wonderful artists from Taylor Swift to The Front Bottoms, One Direction to Rizzle Kicks, Ed Sheeran to Man Overboard… the list goes on (end bragging segment of blog here).
This past weekend I added a few more notable names to the list, as I had the pleasure of attending the Mixtape Festival at Hershey Stadium which featured Gavin Degraw, Hanson (yes, they’re still a band!), The Script, OneRepublic and Train on Day 1, and Emblem3, Boys II Men (yes, they’re also still a band), and The Jonas Brothers on Day 2. A few more artists also performed, such as MKTO (so sad I missed them!) and New Kids on the Block, but my friend and I either came too late or left too early to catch their sets.
Because there are so many bands to talk about I’ve decided to select only a handful of the live acts I saw and talk about them in separate blog posts.
Now to start things off, I’ll be talking about the one and only Gavin Degraw….
I don’t really know how to explain this strange internal struggle that I have about Gavin; before attending Mixtape Festival I knew who Gavin Degraw was (of course) and liked quite a few of his songs, but for a reason that I can’t quite place I thought that the singer was, well, a jerk. Like I said, I don’t really have a concrete reason as to why I thought this.
Fast forward to Saturday night, post Mixtape Festival Day 1, and my preconceived notions of Gavin have been chucked out of the metaphorical window.
During his time on stage, Gavin proved how passionate and thankful he was to be performing for the large audience, making my assumptions obsolete. With his opener “In Love With a Girl” it became clear right away that Gavin is a true artist, sounding each and every bit as good live as he does on record.
Gavin of course made his way around the stage during his set, dedicating bits of time to each side of the crowd, even spending some time behind his piano as well. Then, to everyone’s surprise, Gavin stepped away from his platform and stood on fans’ chairs in the middle of the crowd to perform. Being away from the stage didn’t throw Gavin at all but put him even more in his element, soaking up every ounce of energy from his sea of fans and putting it right back into his performance – yet another sign of his true artistry.
While among his admirers, Gavin performed his tune “Chariot.” Just before the opening note of the song Gavin noted that this July marked the 10 year anniversary of his album of the same name (the very album that kicked his music career into high gear) and thanked the crowd for all of their continued support over the years.
Though I found his entire set impressive and absolutely enjoyable, the most delectable part of his performance just might have been the small portion of Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” he covered. Then, without ceasing, he jumped right into his amazingly popular song “I Don’t Wanna Be” (which you’ll know by heart if you’re a fan of One Tree Hill or just haven’t been living under a rock for the past 10 years). Mixing Justin’s current groove-heavy hit with Gavin’s time-tested and soulful tune made for a musical juxtaposition that the crowd ate right up.
To close his set Gavin and his band put on an incredibly crowd pleasing version of his “Not Over You” with the help of OneRepublic lead singer Ryan Tedder. A microphone malfunction caused a wrinkle in the beginning of the duet but once the 2 singers worked out the kinks and microphones were swapped, the performers paled around on stage with their voices blending together seamlessly.
Introducing Ryan earlier in the evening gave fans a taste of what to look forward to during OneRepublic’s performance later on in the night.
As my stand out set of the evening, I’m so eager to share my thoughts about OneRepublic’s time on stage. So keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming post focused on their stunning set on Day 1 of the Mixtape Festival!