News Column

Concert review: DeGraw and Nathanson (mostly) deliver for Raleigh crowd

August 6, 2014

By Bethany Ao, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)



Aug. 06--RALEIGH -- Grammy-nominated singer Gavin DeGraw put on an impressive show at Raleigh'sRed Hat Amphitheater on Tuesday night, complete with fog machines, mood lighting and a killer, bluesy rock performance.

DeGraw's co-headliner Matt Nathanson took the stage first and performed 13 songs, including his biggest hits, "Come On Get Higher" and "Faster." The energetic singer encouraged the audience to sing along and dance, but because Nathanson seemed to be rocking harder than his usually laid-back style, the set fell flat. Half of the audience didn't know how to respond to the unexpected change in style; they sat in their seats, either on their phones or curiously watching Nathanson prance around the stage.

But there were a few fun moments during his set. Nathanson covered the chorus of "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea and revealed that his drummer occasionally twerks to the song. (To the crowd's disappointment, there was no twerking that evening.) Before Nathanson performed "Run," usually a duet with Jennifer Nettles of the country duo Sugarland, he found a young member of the audience and cheekily apologized in advance for scarring him with the sexy, romantic lyrics of the song.

"This song is about a guy, a girl... and one-on-one basketball," he cracked. "In a hotel room. For three days."

Nathanson also mixed short covers of Whitney Houston's "I Want To Dance With Somebody" and Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta's "You're the One That I Want" with his own tracks, giving them a fresh spin. Unfortunately, it wasn't until the end of his set that the audience became more interested.

DeGraw, dressed head to toe in black, closed the night with a flashy and powerful performance including his biggest hits, "In Love With a Girl" and "Not Over You." He danced around the stage, jammed out with his band and even sat down at the piano now and then to play some of the melodies. He was always moving.

Memorable moments of the set included his short cover of U2's "Where The Streets Have No Name" and in an encore, "You Got Me," a new song for the movie "Dolphin Tale 2."

DeGraw's voice was drowned out by his band more often than not which was disappointing. He also didn't interact much with audience members, unlike Nathanson, and transitioned from song to song without breaking in between.

Despite that, the audience was on their feet for most of the concert, dancing and singing along. Everyone came to see DeGraw put on a show, and he certainly delivered.

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(c)2014 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

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Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)


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