Fan Favorite Performs Before a Sell Out Crowd At Historic Charleston Music Hall
Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
Labeled a blue-eyed soul and country pop rock artist Gavin DeGraw has flown under the radar for most of his 20 years in the spotlight. However, with over a dozen songs charting on the Adult Top 40 with five of them making Billboard's Top 40 pop charts, DeGraw is no stranger to radio.
On the platinum success of chart toppers 'I Don't Want to Be' and 'Not Over You', as well as the number five song 'In Love With a Girl' DeGraw continues to enjoy a solid fan base, enough that he easily performed before a sold out audience Friday (Aug 11th) at the Charleston Music Hall. Offering up 20 songs including select covers, DeGraw lit up the music hall stage for two hours much to the delight of hardcore followers of his artistry.
Rising Nashville talent Ryan Griffin opened the show. With his mix of R&B and country Griffin is an ideal touring partner for DeGraw. Provided 45 minutes Griffin offered up a few newer tracks from his current EP 'Phases' including 'Heart to Break' and 'God Made Fridays'. His 2022 carefree track 'Salt, Lime & Tequila' became a viral sensation, helping this 39 year old singer songwriter gain more attention in Music City especially after co-writing the 2015 number one hit 'Dibs' for Kelsea Ballerini.
With a capable four piece band backing him up and plenty of stage to move around on DeGraw emerged carrying tons of unbridled energy, giving a shout out to Charleston before opening with 'Sweeter'. Several songs in he said his next number was for all those in the crowd who found 'the one' as he offered up 'Greatest of All Time'.
Six songs deep he praised any and all who served in the armed forces, thanking them for their service, adding his parents and grandparent had served in the military, which surprisingly allowed him to do what he does night after night. Playing in Charleston, a city with strong military ties (Air Force & Navy), his song 'Soldier' was met with great applause.
A venue that offers a 50/50 mix of seating and front stage standing area, the Charleston Music Hall is one of many 1000 seat auditoriums ideal for someone like DeGraw who draws his energy from the crowd. While a handful were there to soak up the songfest, most in the crowd appeared to be singing along, as others were bopping to every number.
DeGraw is totally in sync with his fans, engaging them throughout and offering back stories to upcoming songs. 'She Sets the City on Fire' was one of those high energy songs that had the crowd joining in unison. He prefaced several numbers with dates and times, including 'Where You Are' from 2011. Excitement was building as 'In Love With a Girl' and 'Not Over You' laid the groundwork for the big finale, which came after a short exodus and the crowd anticipating DeGraw's biggest across the board hit.
Returning to the stage with his cellphone taking video of audience, DeGraw once again thanked fans for their two decade support for his music, before going full throttle into 'I Don't Want To Be', moving effortlessly from behind the keyboards to strutting the stage. The easily recognizable multi-platinum track from his 2003 debut album 'Chariot' has become his signature song, topping the US Mainstream Top 40 charts with additional exposure from his 2004 appearance on the CW teen drama 'One Tree Hill'.
Not willing to send concert goers home with just his calling card, DeGraw asked fans if they wanted to join in a final sing-along. A resounding yes, lead he and the band to offer up their version of Queen's rock n' roll anthem 'We Are the Champions'. An epic ending to an epic concert.
Gavin DeGraw doesn't need theatrics, expensive backdrops, or overpriced light shows to further enhance his show, he simply lets the music, his voice, and God given talent entertain the masses. If you're seeking a high energy concert where musicianship and raw talent take center stage than I recommend seeing DeGraw's tour which plays thru mid September in the states before he takes the show to Europe. For more on tour dates visit https://www.gavindegraw.com/