Pop-Break Live: Hunter Hayes (Stone Pony)

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If you went to the Stone Pony to see a Hunter Hayes concert during his 24 Hour Road Race to End Child Hunger, you were probably sorely disappointed and let down. Although it wasn’t a concert in the greatest sense of the word, if you went to the 2 am leg of the tour, you got to hear a few great songs from one of the most talented musicians in the world and got to become a part of history. Hunter Hayes officially holds the world record for the most concerts performed in a 24 hour period.

While Hunter Hayes only graced the stage for four songs, the audience had the opportunity to hear quite a bit more of an up and coming country quartet, The Railers. It could not have been easy to be the band responsible for pumping up the crowd before such a momentous occasion happened at such a notable venue. Luckily, The Railers were up to the task. The band’s energy and harmonies were phenomenal and the sound is very reminiscent of some of the most successful country bands out there like Lady Antebellum. The Railers played a few of its original songs, including it’s first mainstream single that will be released in the next two months, “These Hands.” That song, and all of The Railers music is most certainly worth a listen. The band was good and managed to captivate the audience’s attention which was no easy feat as everyone was tired and packed in from the door to the wall.

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As 3:45 am rolled around, finally the crew for Hunter Hayes arrived. The band hopped on stage, tuned their instruments, set up and got ready in record time. Without even a moment to settle in, Hunter Hayes took the stage. The first words he said were “What a legendary place to set foot in tonight.” It seems only fitting that such a historical venue would mark the breaking of the Guinness Book of World Records record for most concerts in a 24 hour period.

For anyone who feared that the long and arduous journey of the past 20 hours had taken its toll on Hunter Hayes, his sound and his energy, they were proven wrong instantly. The first song Hayes performed was “Storm Warning.” He was jumping, singing, and rocking out like a crazy person. His energy was uplifting and contagious. The crowd was screaming and singing as though it were 8:00 pm on a Saturday night rather than 4 am Saturday morning.

To keep the energy up, Hunter Hayes transitioned right into his new album’s title track, “Storyline.” The crowd didn’t seem as familiar with the new track as I’d expected but that didn’t bring the energy down. At one point in the song, Hayes even bellowed to the crowd, “Jump with me!” and he had the entire place bobbing up and down. “Storyline” is such a happy and fun track that there wasn’t a person in the crowd not smiling and dancing even if they didn’t know the words.

The biggest hit of the night, however, was the third song Hayes decided to perform, his current single, “Invisible.” This song is in a rather high range and, I’m sure, rather difficult to sing after the day Hayes had so the crowd did most of the work on the first verse, singing while Hayes held out the microphone and conducted. As the song progressed, however, Hayes belted out notes I was afraid he didn’t have a chance of hitting. The most monumental occasion of the night happened halfway through the song. All of a sudden an air horn went off and an announcement was made, Hunter Hayes had broken the record set by the Flaming Lips for most concerts in a 24 hour period. The moment occurred at approximately 4:00 am and the place erupted. I have never seen that many people that awake and excited at 4:00 am. Hayes looked ecstatic as the moment happened but didn’t miss a beat, picked the song back up and finished it beautifully. After the song was complete, the representatives for The Guinness Book of World Records took the stage, congratulated Hunter Hayes on his record breaking feat and presented him with an award.

The night didn’t end with the record breaking moment; Hayes decided to sing just one more song, “I Want Crazy.” Of course, everyone was still going crazy and it was a great moment to get to witness. There were a few people in the crowd who voiced their disappointment that the show was over after just four songs but, overall, the mood was energized and joyous. A sold out crowd at a historic venue made history yet again. Congratulations to Hunter Hayes for releasing a new album, fighting world hunger, and not only breaking a world record, but for smashing it.


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Review: Hunter Hayes, ‘Storyline’ (Lisa Pikaard)

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