Untamed

Gavin deGraw – Cologne; 31.05.2008

Last night I saw Gavin DeGraw rock Cologne. I discovered him about two years ago when a friend told me about him and by chance I saw that he was playing. Curious about the songs from the new album (which had been released in Germany a day before the concert) and with no clue about the guy at all, I arrived at the location about two hours before the show.

It was a small hall, belonging to a cafe and only a handfull of people were already there. I got in line and waited while more and more people arrived.  A few people spotted Gavin at his tourbus and went over. He wrote autographs and took pictures. It was nice to see nobody made a fuss about it. I thought about it but decided to try my luck after the show because I did not want to give up my spot in line.

The doors opened and it was easy to get a spot in front row. I was rather amused hearing the giggling girls next to me complaining that they could not understand the T-Shirt seller because he only spoke English and at the same time planning how they wanted to talk with Gavin after the show. Talking about T-shirts: When you bought a shirt (or anything else) they gave out wristbands that would later let you meet Gavin for autographs. Lots of disapproving thoughts here from me (an artists selling his autographs sucks), but since he freely gave them before the show (and probably after too), I am willing to turn a blind eye here.

At 9:00 .pm. the show started with Haley Sales. She’s young, she’s cute and she has a good voice. Nice songs. I really enjoyed listening to her and seeing her. The audience was great too. The place was sold out. All the way to the back people were clapping and singing along. She played a half hour set, nice songs, creating a good mood.

Gavin came on around 10:00 p.m.. There was huge applause and some screaming as he walked out. He played a good mixture of old songs and new. I decided on the spot that I liked the new album better because it is rockier than the first. The audience sang along well for the older songs, but only a few people knew the new ones. I knew none of the lyrics very well and was forced to listen for once. It was a strange experience, but rather nice.

Gavin changed between piano and guitar many times during the night and also had a good band backing him up. He is a good performer, he sings his heart out and he is a great singer too. At one point he even climbed on top of the piano, singing from there. Faster and slower songs were well mixed, he has fun rearranging his songs and changing them from the album versions. He comes across as a nice guy too. He does not have “it” though, the charisma that draws me in and makes me forget everything else, or it does not work for me at least.

Did I enjoy the concert? Absolutely. Would I go and see him again? You bet. But did I get goosebumps all over and was unable to take my eyes off him? Nope. Loved it though and was happy that it was not one of those concerts that suck you in and spit you out in the end, happy and five feet above the ground but totally raw with emotions and not quite sure what has just happened. That, of course is left to very few performers and he is not one of them.

After the concert I grabbed the setlist and bought the new CD too. I wanted Haley’s album too, but they didn’t have it. Now I had a wristband too and was one of the first people in line. They set up a table and told us to go up one by one. At first, nobody wanted to move – cute. Gavin was nice, shook everyone’s hands, talked. I thanked him for an amazing concert, got my autographs and left. By 3 a.m., I was home, tired and happy

Setlist

Crush
Next to me
Follow through
We belong together
Untamed
Chemical party
Cheated on me
In love with a girl
More than anyone
Jealous guy
Cop stop
Relative
Never the same
I have you to thank
Nice to meet you (anyway)
I don’t wanna be

Encore
Young Love
Chariot

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