Andy Grammer and Mat Kearney opened for Train this past weekend at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie. Train definitely selected the perfect opening acts for their high-energy show. All three acts got the crowd involved and drew them into the performances.
Andy Grammer took the stage first. He played a relatively short set, but he served his purpose as a crowd warmer and then some. Grammer took pictures with the crowd, elicited interaction, and sang an entire song while walking among the audience. In the middle of his set, Grammer played a cover of Rhianna's We Found Love. His version of the song was one of the highlights of the night, Train's performance included.
Near the end of Grammer's set, he walked into the crowd and sang while shaking hands and posing for pictures. At one point, he sat down with someone in the crowd, reclined his feet, and sang the entire chorus to Slow. Safety concerns prevent many artists from doing things like this, which is one of the best aspects of watching an artist with a smaller following. They will willingly get hands on with fans to build a buzz and develop a bigger following.
Grammer asks fans to send him a Twitter message @andygrammer for a chance to go backstage and hang out with him after his performance. Grammer's music is built on catchy hooks and memorable melodies that continue to build his fan base. Before long, Andy Grammer will have his own small-venue headlining tour.
Mat Kearney (@matkearney) followed Andy Grammer. Mat Kearney's performance was slightly less energetic then Andy Grammer, but just as entertaining in his own way. Kearney also worked hard to get the crowd involved with his show. Like Grammer, he mentioned Twitter and was active throughout the night.
Kearney's song style is very similar to Andy Grammer. The sound is more mature and refined whereas Grammer's sound is more raw. The progression of sound leading up to Train was excellent and slowly built an excitement for the main act while leaving room for plenty of appreciation for the openers.
Kearney came into the crowd briefly to shake hands with fans and pose for pictures while singing. If you get the chance to catch one of the stops on this tour, take note of how engrossed the crowd gets when Andy and Mat go into the crowd. Everyone is mesmerized, trying to snap a quick cell phone picture before they run off to another section.
Both Andy Grammer and Mat Kearney delivered highly entertaining, memorable performances that got the crowd pumped and ready for Train. Do not be surprised to see either one of them headlining their own tour in the near future. Artists with as much charisma and talent as Grammer and Kearney that get the opportunity to open for a huge act like Train usually parlay the experience into a significant career step.
Check out the Dallas Local Music Examiner (DLME) review of Train's performance here. Drop by later in the week for a full rundown of the upcoming shows at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, one of the premiere venues for live music in North Texas.
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