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Hayes to Rock the House

| Friday, November 6, 2015

Hayes_Banner_WebJanice Chung | The Observer

On Friday at 7 p.m., the doors of Stepan Center will open, and Hunter Hayes will perform for hundreds of his closest Notre Dame friends.

The SUB-sponsored concert will host the young, famous country star with an opening performance by fellow artist Ryan Lafferty. The pair, performing a variety of songs well known to country fanatics throughout the nation, will surely put on an unforgettable show.

Hayes, a small-town Louisiana native, signed with Atlantic Records at a mere 18-years old. Since then, the now-24-year old has co-written and performed his own songs, as well as opened throughout Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” tour. The country star released his first self-titled album in October 2011, including fan-favorites such as “Storm Warning,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak” and the ever-famous “Wanted.”

“Wanted,” released in 2011, helped the 21-year-old star to top the Billboard Charts, being the youngest male artist to do so.

Hayes either wrote or co-wrote each song in his first album. To showcase his talent even more, he played each instrument and sang every vocal track.

Shortly after, Hayes recorded a reprise to his autobiographical album, which he entitled “Hunter Hayes Encore”. This album, released in 2011 as well, included eight new and rearranged songs, such as “Light Me Up” and “I Want Crazy.”

Hayes, a talented singer, is also an avid musician. Fans praise him for both his vocals and his ability to play an astounding 30 instruments, including the guitar, piano, bass, mandolin and the drums. This exceptional ability, coupled with his high-energy stage presence, will surely please fans Friday night.

The four-time Grammy nominee and CMA New Artist of the Year winner continues to accomplish music feats since his self-titled album. In May 2014, he released his most recent album, “Storyline”, in which he opened the floor for guest musicians and singers. Though Hayes had originally produced 60 songs for “Storyline,” 14 of them made the cut. This album, similar to its predecessor, contains upbeat tracks with country twang and pop music mixes.

Hayes also frames a large portion of his songs, including “Invisible,” within his “Storyline” album, with meaningful lyrics and messages.

The chorus to “Invisible” states, “Hear me out, there’s so much more to like than what you’re feeling now. Someday you’ll look back on all these days, and all this pain is gonna be invisible.”

His strong lyrics, combined with a mixture of upbeat and tranquil melodies, will make for a great show Friday night. Hayes, a passionate performer, carries an animated stage presence.

I can attest to Hayes’ performance personality. Three summers ago, I watched him perform at a county fair, where he kept the audience on their feet for the entire show. Dripping with sweat, Hayes never sang a song without dancing, jumping or swaying. He belted fast-tempo tracks, only to slow it down and sing emotional tributes to family members or friends, bringing audience members — myself included — to tears.

The young, talented and accomplished singer will rock the Stepan Center stage this Friday night. For only $15, Notre Dame, SMC and HCC students alike can celebrate the crisp — yet maybe still warm — fall season with music, dance and friends.

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