It was almost two years since I last saw Gavin DeGraw perform at the Paramount in Huntington, NY. I was so thrilled to hear not only was he touring, but with Andy Grammer AND that he had a new album coming out. I had never been to Bethel Woods before but heard it was a great place to see a concert. I treated myself for my birthday (which was three days later) and bought VIP Meet & Greet's for myself and best friend.
The venue was simply beautiful. We got there early to allow enough time to walk and look around. Around 5pm we were led inside by one of Gavin's reps for the meet and greet. It was a pretty long line but it seemed to go by quickly. Finally it was our turn. Gavin held out his hand to shake mine and said "Hi, I'm Gavin". My response? Yes I know who you are!!!! :) I told him my name, that it was my birthday in a few days and asked him if he would sing one of my all time favorite songs of his, Finest Hour. He said it wasn't on the setlist for that night (which I knew but had to ask anyway) but he did sign a setlist and drew me a candle for my birthday. It was a very relaxed and memorable meet and greet, not rushed at all.
We left and took our seats (3rd row center) and waited for the show to start. The opening act was Aaron Tveit, who you may remember as Danny Zuko from the TV rendition of Grease. He was simply adorable and actually a pretty good singer.
From the minute Andy stepped on stage, you knew it was going to be a great show. I always enjoyed his music but had never seen him live. Well, he did NOT disappoint. He puts so much energy into his shows. Always moving around and the dance moves with his band are just genius.
He is one of the best performers I have seen in a long time. And then there's that smile! It was almost like watching a show at times. You didn't know what anyone on stage was going to do next, so you wanted to keep your eyes on everyone. From Zach's split, to their synchronized dance moves to the t-shirt gun launcher. It left you saying, OMG what are they going to do next?
Then it was time for Gavin. Now keep in mind this is Gavin's hometown and the first night our the tour. How great is that for him? Many of his family and friends were here. It must've given them chills to not only see him on stage right in front of them, but to see and hear the crowd's reaction.
I noticed two empty seats in the first row so I quietly moved down. He played his hits, a one or two from his new album and some covers. While walking down the side aisle on the stage telling a story, he stopped to talk to a little boy. He asked what he was going to be for Halloween, signed a poster for him and continue to have a conversation with him. I think it made that kid's night. He also made sure to stop and take the time to thank all the men and women who have served this country. Gavin was so humbled by everyone who came, saying how much it meant to him to be here and to play in his hometown, not once but twice.
It was getting late and we knew this was the last song of the night. He was doing a cover of Hey Jude by the Beatles. Sitting at the piano, they were doing their usual stuff. Then out of the corner of my eye, I see movement coming from the side stage. All of a sudden, Andy and his band were on stage and they all did the best encore ever.
Andy and Gavin performed so well together. You can tell they get along and this was a great pairing of these two amazing artists. I would highly recommend going to see them before the tour is over. I know I am!!!