Hey everybody, I hope y’all are staying warm! Anyone here a country music fan?? While I know that most of our campus is into various types of music, country music is hardly one of them. As a die-hard country music fan, my job is to bring more awareness of that particular genre of music. Get a whiff of their music and if you decide you don’t like it, the least you can do is admire the ample of good-looking men and women that the genre has to offer (namely, Luke Bryan: People’s Sexiest Man Alive 2014).  The first time I fell in love with country music was when I heard Luke Bryan’s I Don’t Want This Night To End. Seriously, it was like love at first sight.

So to start you off, I’ll talk about Hunter Hayes. I got the amazing opportunity to go to his show here in Chicago at the Sears Center Arena last night (shoutout to Memo for that!) and I had nothing short of a blast! Dan + Shay and the Railers opened for him and boy, did they put on an incredible show! I know I seem like an annoying middle schooler gushing about the “country Justin Bieber,” but trust me when I say that I have a point to all of this madness. But first, I would love to just finish gushing! The Railers started the show and got the crowd fired up. They played a few of their own gems and later came back to sing Train’s Soul sister towards the end with Hunter.

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Dan + Shay stole the show with their impressive talent and funny performance. They started with a few songs from their album Where It All BeganMidway, they played Show You Off, their newest single in 2014. They stuck to some slow songs to calm the crowd. However, it wasn’t long before they introduced a new, upbeat song called Partner in Crime. Finally, they ended their performance with a throwback to Myrtle Beach with their most famous one, 19 You + Me. I personally love that song, its so soft and charming, and the duo did a great job of delivering it.

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Black leather jacket is Shay and jean vest is Dan. Aren’t they just a bunch of heartthrobs!?
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Their backdrop and their signature + sign. They took a selfie with the audience and the audience generously threw out the plus sign for them.

Finally, Hunter Hayes took the stage with his first hit single ever, Storm Warning. He took the stage with so much confidence and charisma, it was beyond entertaining to watch him perform. This is my third time watching HH in concert and darn, his audience size quadrupled for sure! The four-time Grammy winner (The Biebs got none of those, so really there’s nothing to compare!) played all his hits ever, with Somebody’s Heartbreak, Everybody Has Somebody But Me, Invisible, Wanted, Tattoo and lastly, I Want Crazy. Hunter laughed along with the audience, took a couple selfies and thanked the audience after every few songs, reminding them that they meant so much to him. Hunter took a guitar and a mic into the seating area with him, and sang in the middle of the audience! He ended the show with confetti canons, while thanking his crew and Chicago for partying it up with him! After the show, he even took the time to take pictures and sign posters right there on the stage.

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Did I mention he makes the cutest faces while playing his instruments!?
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I mean c’mon, look at that face!

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And now for the best part, the point to all my madness. Upon entering the venue, we were given these ginormous bracelets that had Hunter’s symbol, along with the USO symbol on them. Turns out, these bracelets were the best part of the show! They were synchronized to light up with the stage lighting, making the entire audience a part of the show.

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All the little blue lights in the background are all bracelets!

IMG_8822However, they were also very important. The bracelets were linked to Hunter Hayes’ mobile app through which you could donate to USO. Hunter mentioned the importance of the USO: “In my opinion, it is by far one of the most incredible experiences to get to look these men and women in the eye and say thank you personally. These men and women miss so many important moments to give us moments like these, so we can feel safe in this building, safe in this country tonight. So we wanted to say a huge, huge thank you to all the men and women in the military.” Hunter does this at every show and I was genuinely shocked by the message that he was spreading through this brilliant idea of glowing bracelets. He knows how much support the troops need and to use his celebrity power for good is what’s going to do the job. So to end my rant, I would be honored and priviledged to keep spreading his word to donate and help the USO. I know this is a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason: every little bit helps so do what you can. Thanks for making it to the end everybody, go be awesome!!

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