Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson performed at the Venue at the Hub in Fargo Friday July 11 and they brought along a very special guest Mary Lambert. For those that are not familiar with Lambert, she quickly rose to fame with being featured on Macklemore’s hit, “Same Love.” Lambert opened the show with a modest set and the stage lighting was a bit of a nightmare for photo enthusiast alike. In spite of the dimly lit stage Lambert’s warm bubbly personality shown through perfectly, immediately connecting the audience to her storytelling with her impressive chops and prose.
There would be a short break while crews ushered around the stage, setting up for co-headliner, Gavin DeGraw. What was immediately strange about the tour is DeGraw didn’t end up closing the night, it was a lesser known artist Matt Nathanson. It’s possible that the two switch off every other night with one being the latter.
DeGraw dressed in his signature jean jacket, boots and hat didn’t miss a beat all night. There was plenty crowd interaction as DeGraw soared through his set. Hits like, “Sweeter,” which had the females swaying back and forth, as DeGraw seduced them with Sweeter ” I just wanna take, someone else's holiday, sometimes the grass is greener, and someone else's sugar, someone else's sugar sweeter.”
Degraw’s choice of lighting blew opening act Lambert out of the water. Of course why shouldn’t he have the best lighting, after all he’s a headliner after all right? Either way there was simply no comparison. DeGraw seemed to energize as the audience in the crowd were held captive by his melodic euphoria. The crowd sang back the lyrics as DeGraw performed “Not Over You,” “I Don’t Wanna Be,” and “Chariot.” DeGraw had incredible energy on stage and his voice never sounded better.
Closing out the night was co-headliner Matt Nathanson, who compared to DeGraw seemed to be a little out of place on this tour. Nathanson who was is best known for his hit “Come On Get Higher,” attempted to get the crowd fired up, but for the most part, most seemed to be not as into him as DeGraw. That’s not to say Nathanson isn’t talented as he certainly could make his way around a guitar and his vocals sounded solid as well. Perhaps more smartly crafted material such as DeGraw would have helped them into the transition of his folk rock style a little better.
Overall it was a great night of music with a very nice mix with Lambert, DeGraw and Nathanson. So if they all boxed who would emerge the winner? All judges’ score cards would have to be in favor of DeGraw, who clearly had the lead, and knocked the other two out, the second he walked out on stage. Even though DeGraw probably doesn’t see it that way; it’s his mass appeal that had these ladies and gents swooning all night long.
We Belong Together
Best I Ever Had
Where the Streets Have No Name
Everything Will Change
(Hall & Oates cover)
In Love with a Girl
I Don't Want to Be
Make a Move
Not Over You