Winter is in full effect in New York City, with the temperature dropping into the low 20’s last night. Fans of Dan + Shay faced the bitter cold to pack into The Playstation Theatre in the middle of Times Square. From the moment the lights went out and the duo appeared on stage, the screams were deafening and the energy level was high. The “Obsessed Tour,” which kicked off in Hawaii last month, has made its way to the East Coast with shows in Maryland, New York and Boston this week.
Newcomer Walker Hayes is along for the ride as the tour’s opening act. Hayes, who is paving his own way in the country genre, merges heartfelt lyrics with hip-hop-esque vibes. In his live show, Hayes is unafraid to talk about the struggles he has faced while following his dreams of being a country singer-songwriter. This is apparent in “Lela’s Stars,” a song about sitting in his car a few years back, wondering where life is going to take him as he gets ready to start an early morning shift at Costco, doing anything to make ends meet while he pursues a career in music.
In a witty, funky tune called “Your Girlfriend Does,” Hayes tells the audience about writing with members of Old Dominion and about the haters on the Internet who write mean comments under his videos on YouTube. To the open-minded country fans, Walker Hayes is a refreshing take on modern country. You can download Volumes 1 and 2 of his 8Tracks here on his website.
Dan + Shay then took the stage, filling their 90-minute set by alternating songs from their debut album Where It All Started and their most recent LP Obsessed. They opened with “All Nighter,” the first track from Obsessed, and immediately captured the audience. Their high energy was contagious as they ran across the stage and interacted with the crowd, who was singing every word to every song.
The country-pop team, made up of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, were receptive to the lively NYC fans, but a highlight of the show was a heartfelt, slowed-down performance of “From the Ground Up,” their most recent number one. The audience joined with swaying hands in the air, clearly moved by the love song.
They sprinkled covers throughout the setlist, including The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” the classic crowd-pleaser “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, and Mooney’s own number one co-write, “I Like the Sound of That.” The show was jam-packed with great moments, high energy, and beautiful harmonies.
The “Obsessed Tour” continues throughout April 2017. See upcoming dates below:
Dec. 17 – Boston, Mass. @ House of Blues
Feb. 9 – Rosemont, Ill. @ Joe’s Live
Feb. 10 – Chicago, Ill. @ Joe’s on Weed Street
Feb. 11 – Springfield, Ill. @ Boondocks
Feb. 12 – Cedar Falls, Iowa @ University of Northern Iowa – Gallagher Bluedorn PAC
Feb. 17 – Memphis, Tenn. @ The New Daisy Theatre
Feb. 18 – Houston, Texas @ Warehouse Live
Feb. 19 – San Antonio, Texas @ AT&T Center – San Antonio Rodeo
Feb. 21 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Ryman Auditorium
Feb. 24 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Tennessee Theatre
Feb. 25 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Buckhead Theatre
Mar. 23 – Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom
Mar. 24 – Seattle, Wash. @ Showbox SoDo
Mar. 25 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
Mar. 26 – Spokane, Wash. @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Mar. 28 – Cedar City, Utah @ Southern Utah University
Mar. 29 – Scottsdale, Ariz. @ Livewire
Apr. 6 – Grand Rapids, Mich. @ 20 Monroe Live
Apr. 7 – Royal Oak, Mich. @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Apr. 9 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
Apr. 13 – Silver Spring, Md. @ The Fillmore Silver Spring
Apr. 14 – Sayreville, N.J. @ Starland Ballroom
Apr. 15 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Stage AE
Apr. 20 – Omaha, Neb. @ Sokol Auditorium
Apr. 21 – Kansas City, Mo. @ Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland