Thursday, November 20, 2014

Live review: 96.9 The Kat Country Jam, The Fillmore (11/19/2014)

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Scott Clark Toyota Kat Country Jam presented by 96.9 The Kat f. Hunter Hayes, Montgomery Gentry, Dustin Lynch, Maddie and Tae
The Fillmore
Nov. 19, 2014

Hunter Hayes
  • Hunter Hayes

"This next one's a love song," Hunter Hayes told the sold-out crowd in attendance for the Scott Clark Toyota Kat Country Jam presented by 96.9 The Kat at the Fillmore on Wednesday night. "... like I'm going to sing anything else tonight." The 23-year-old then kicked off his music award-winning song "Wanted," much to the delight of countless young female fans shrieking in the audience.

Hayes was one of four singers on stage, alongside duo Montgomery Gentry and Dustin Lynch, for a rotation-style performance headlining the Jam, the proceeds of which were to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The artists took turns singing for six rounds, with each tossing in a cover song in place of doing one song all-together.

The overall mood was relaxed as artists watched one another perform and paid a random compliment. Aside from the charity, the winners were country music fans who got to watch three acts acoustically perform their hits with minimal backing.

Montgomery Gentry
  • Montgomery Gentry

"They asked us to play one together, but we're from different generations so we couldn't agree on anything," Eddie Montgomery told the crowd. "Instead, we're going to play songs that influenced us." Montgomery Gentry chose Charlie Daniels' "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye," while Lynch sang Joe Diffie's "Pickup Man" and Hayes sang Vince Gill's "Don't Let Our Love Start Slippin' Away."

Maddie and Tae
  • Maddie and Tae

After a brief set mixed with Q&A by opener Maddie and Tae, a few items were auctioned off before Montgomery Gentry took the stage for the headlining portion. After they performed "Where I Come From," Dustin Lynch took a seat to perform his first song. Then with a curtain of ear-piercing shrieks cloaking the venue, Hayes took the stage. It was like Justin Bieber walked out, but for another genre.

Hayes, a talented young musician, got plenty of opportunity to show off his musical chops through solos and looping some of his song backgrounds, while fans waited for him to perform his hits, "Tattoo" and "I Want Crazy." A screen at the front of the stage broadcasting a #KatJam Twitter feed was flooded with Tweets about him — from people proposing marriage to those who couldn't believe they were even in the same room with him.

While his performance was a far cry from the old-school style of Sturgill Simpson I witnessed two weeks ago, Hayes deserves the spotlight on his pop-infused country thanks to his musicianship and humility. He thanked Montgomery Gentry for their inspiration, and told the crowd on more than one occasion that he was honored to be sharing the stage with them and Lynch.

While Montgomery Gentry offered songs you'll sing along to while standing on a bar, and Lynch leaned on the stereotypical girls, cowboy boots and pickup trucks, it was Hayes and his youthful energy that stood out. And while MG and Lynch let accompanying musicians behind them carry the weight of the songs' instrumentation, it was Hayes who held the spotlight on his own with multiple solos — even extending one song into a bit of a jam.

Montgomery Gentry, who noted that they don't have any love songs compared to Hayes, got solid singalongs from "Hell Yeah" and "One In Every Crowd." The country veterans thanked the fans who have stuck by them since their first album, 1999's Tattoos & Scars.

Dustin Lynch
  • Dustin Lynch

When one fan yelled out a marriage proposal, Lynch told her she'd have to wait since he's in no rush to get married just yet. He then played "Your Daddy's Boots" on request and dedicated "Cowboys and Angels" to a group of fans he met earlier in the night.

The rotation of singers kept things fresh and fun for well over an hour. Considering general admission ticket prices were so low, and it was all for a good cause, it's safe to say everyone left satiated and content with the performances — especially those squealing Hunter Hayes fans.

Hunter Hayes
  • Hunter Hayes

Hunter Hayes setlist
Storm Warning
Everybody's Got Somebody But Me
Don't Let Our Love Start Slippin' Away
I Want Crazy

Montgomery Gentry setlist
Where I Come From
My Town
Hell Yeah
One In Every Crowd
Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye

Dustin Lynch setlist
Wild In Your Smile
Cowboys and Angels
Your Daddy's Boots
Hell of a Night
Pickup Man
Where It's At

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