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Eric Hutchinson takes the stage at Legends

Caelin Miltko | Monday, November 18, 2013

Saturday night, Eric Hutchinson performed at Legends for the second time, and he did so with plenty of flair. The concert was part of his tour to promote his album “Almost Solo” (a live version is currently available free at erichutchinson.com for the first million fans). Opening for him was the fan-favorite from this week’s AcoustiCafe: senior Seamus Donegan.

The student performer gathered a crowd of his own, drawing loud cheers from the crowd the moment he walked on stage. He started off his five-song set with his cover of Matt Nathanson’s “Faster.” The song suited his vocal range perfectly and his acoustic style easily complimented Eric Hutchinson’s folk pop sound. 

The highlight of Donegan’s set list was easily his closing, a cover of OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” during which he called up the talented junior Elizabeth Curtin to sing back up. The song’s upbeat tones and quick tempo had the crowd dancing, ready for Eric Hutchinson to take the stage.

Unfortunately, in the interim between the opener and Hutchinson, the energy of the crowd waned a bit. While Legends continued to play songs from bands like Capitol Cities and Of Monsters and Men, the loud tuning of instruments from the stage consistently drowned the music out. They seemed to have particular problems with one of the keyboards. Despite this concerning break, they fixed it before Hutchinson came on.

He took the stage with dramatics, a blinding cacophony of lights heralding his arrival. His yellow pants, striped button down and black blazer caused some comment amongst the crowd but it quickly faded to a cheery sing-along (or humming for the majority who didn’t know the words) and occasional cheers as he started off his set.

He built up the excitement in the first couple songs, inciting the crowd to sing along with him to “Oh!” and pausing to make sure they did just that. Hutchinson’s style is one that makes it hard not to sway along to the very slowest of his songs and dance excitedly to the fastest.

Midway through his set, he pointed out a sign made for a girl’s birthday and dedicated his next song to her, calling the crowd to silence as he prepared for one of his quieter songs. The crowd acquiesced after a fashion and Hutchinson’s gift was the regretful song “Breakdown More.”

He followed this up with a cover of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel,” starting the crowd moving again and had more of the crowd singing along to the classic hit. 

His longest introduction of the night was for his new song, “Tell the World.” He told a charmingly mundane story of lasagna as the impetus for the writing this song. The loudest cheer of the night came when he asked the crowd to greet the name of this new song as if they were truly excited and they did not disappoint. “Tell the World” was characteristic of Hutchinson’s style, a little folksy with the type of rhythm that induces unconscious swaying.

The mood obviously picked up when Hutchinson played one of his more well-known songs, “Watching You Watch Him.” The song was featured on “Grey’s Anatomy” before the release of his last album.

Hutchinson left the stage before performing his most famous song, “Rock & Roll” which was part of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” soundtrack. As the crowd cheered for an encore, it seemed unlikely he would leave without playing the hit.

He came back on stage and opened his encore with a cover of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” If a bit cheesy, the song is guaranteed to bring a certain level of excitement to a crowd and it certainly served its purpose in ramping up the mood for the final song.

He ended with “Rock & Roll,” satisfying those who came because they knew the one song and bringing the crowd to its biggest moving point of the night. The crowd sang and danced along with Hutchinson all the while. He ended his show with the same dramatics of his entrance, all of the lights shutting off as he ended his final song. 

All in all, the concert was worth braving the rain that poured down on the walk over. Hutchinson’s hits were fun to dance to and his lesser-known songs were great to hear and learn.

Contact Caelin Miltko at cmoriari@nd.edu