My ears hurt and Hunter Hayes is being booed. Neither fact is a reflection on his talents. The earache comes from the screams that any word, action or smile from Hunter elicits. And since he is always smiling, the screams never subside.
The booing came when Hunter made the charming error of dedicating a song to “all the couples in the crowd”. There are no couples in the crowd of London’s sold-out Koko gig – unless you count the inseparable pairing of teens and their raging hormones.
Me and my fellow ‘Brits in Boots’ debate whether he’s more like a young Buddy Holly (impressive quiff and fancy footwork), or a young Michael Buble (classy crooner) but settle on a young Gary LeVox from Rascal Flatts (this boy can riff!). But whoever he reminds us of, the key word is “young”. I remember swooning the first time I heard Wanted and googling the artist (admit it, you do it too) only to feel sheepish on spotting the boy behind my yearning.
So for me the night started with a bit of that shame – being the 30-something oddity in the crowd as the playdough-faced pop star took to a stage far smaller than he deserves. All misgivings were soon vanquished by the maturity of his performance though; the confidence with which he kept up interaction with his worshippers, handling enough guitar changes to rival Brad Paisley (I stopped counting at number seven), and even bounding back to give what felt like an authentic encore (in which he confessed to fluffing the words).
Hunter told us he’ll be back soon, and whatever your age I’d recommend getting to a show while he’s still taking time to stop for autographs straight after the show like last night.
By @CheryTwee for @UKCountryBlog
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