Hest did not disappoint
| Sunday, October 3, 2004
The title of Lauren Wendel’s Scene article, “Ari Hest disappoints small crowd at SMC” was upsettingly inaccurate. Though entitled to her own opinions of the performance, these sentiments should not have been projected upon the entire audience. Everyone I know who had the privilege of hearing Hest play Sept. 27 was pleased with his show and grateful to have had the opportunity to hear him perform live. Being a Hest fan was not a prerequisite for enjoying the concert. A small group of devotees clustered near the stage while the sunny afternoon and talented performers encouraged picnic-goers and passers-by to stay and listen.
Students remained on the quad as the sun set, the evening grew cold and the grass dampened. They were drawn in by Hest’s melodic love songs, catchy upbeat tunes and reflective ballads. His husky baritone and soaring falsetto complemented inventive chord progressions and inspiring guitar riffs. Hest was at ease on stage and conversed comfortably with fans after the performance. His ability to make shows feel intimate and personal allowed fans to resonate completely with the sentiments behind the songs. His honest lyrics – though often not obscure or complex – consistently struck a chord with the audience.
Hest’s musicianship sets him apart from the masses of singer/songwriters striving to catch the coattails of John Mayer and Howie Day. Ari Hest will continue to succeed because of his talent, not because of his musical genre. My only disappointment in the show was that the enthusiastic crowd was not able to supply more energy due to sheer lack of numbers. I can only hope that the poor showing – due to odd timing and limited advertising – won’t keep this talented musician from returning to the South Bend area in the future.