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Gavin DeGraw, David Cook & Carolina Liar at SPA Homecoming Week Concert: A Review

Posted by Stephanie Williams on 10/12 at 11:56 AM

Gavin DeGraw and David Cook kicked off their national fall tour - and Penn State Homecoming week - as the headliner for the SPA concert this past Sunday. Although the concert was a bit behind schedule, that didn’t stop fans from standing up and running to the stage the second the lights went out.

The concert started with Carolina Liar as the opening band. The band did exactly what it was meant to do: get the crowd on their feet, and excite the crowd for the concert. They played a few songs from their new album, Wild Blessed Freedom, and closed with their hit “Show Me What I’m Looking For,” with the whole audience singing along. The set was very tight and energetic and it was obvious that the artists worked very well together and knew exactly what was going on. 

Following Carolina Liar was the first headline act, David Cook. This is Cook’s first tour post-American Idol and he sang many tracks from his new album, This Loud Morning along with hits “Light On” and “The Time of My Life.” The crowd loved the performance and sang along with most of Cook’s songs. Cook really moved around the stage with energy during his performance and actively interacted with the members of his band. He also played guitar on most of the songs. There was a funny moment when he had a “wardrobe malfunction” and awkwardly changed guitars with ripped pants. David Cook also surprised everyone when he jumped off the stage and walked around the floor of Rec Hall amongst all of his fans. After this stunt, however, he lost the interest and let the energy dip with a few cover songs like “Movin’ Out” by Billy Joel and “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis. 

The concert ran a little late and Gavin DeGraw did not even get on stage until 11:00 p.m. However, the second he entered, the crowd exploded and immediately cheered and sang along with the tracks. DeGraw and his band knew that the audience was getting a little tired, so he moved the show along and  kept the energy flowing throughout his set. 

DeGraw did an incredible job of picking an energy-filled set list with a nice mix of fast songs, ballads, and hits. His second song, “Chariot,” was his hit. But for the rest of the show, he just held the attention of the audience performing other hits “Not Over You” (from his new album Sweeter), and “In Love With a Girl,” mixed in with the rest of his tracks. 

The live show also showcased Gavin DeGraw’s extensive musical ability. Along with singing, he often had a guitar or was sitting behind the piano. When he sang “Spell It Out,” DeGraw created a very intimate setting that almost held the atmosphere of a small piano bar. DeGraw had great chemistry with his band and kept his songs crisp and tight. For his solo performances, the rest of the band exited the stage to add an extra element of intimacy.

Overall the concert was a huge success, and Gavin DeGraw shared that emotion with the audience a few songs before the close. He expressed how he was nervous about how a tour would be received and thanked the fans for their continued support. He did a phenomenal job of really connecting with the audience and keeping everyone engaged and entertained throughout his set.

If you missed the concert at Rec Hall, the tour is continuing for the next two months across the nation. For more information click here.

  And here’s a sample of the concert:

{name} Author: Stephanie Williams
Bio: Stephanie Williams is a senior majoring in Public Relations with minors in Business and Psychology. In her free time, she loves to listen to new music, read, see shows and travel. She has had a passion for music and grew up listening to The Beach Boys, Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac. Although she still loves the oldies her musical tastes have grown to include Ben Folds, The Kooks, David Guetta, and Coldplay as some of her favorite artists today.

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