Ohio State students kicked up their #OUABoots Thursday night for OUAB’s free concert at the LC Pavilion featuring Hunter Hayes and Ryan Lafferty.
Newcomer Ryan Lafferty opened the show and quickly won over the crowd with his impressive vocal slides and well-chosen covers. He performed a soulful rendition of R. Kelly’s “Ignition”. Fans bounced along to the beat and were all smiles as he ended the set with his song “Close to You”.
Concertgoers eagerly awaited headliner Hunter Hayes’ arrival and the excitement inside the pavilion was contagious. It was clear that this would be a show to remember.
Always high energy, Hayes opened the night with his song “Tattoo” and continued performing some of his most popular songs, including “Storm Warning,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak” and “Invisible”.
Hayes expressed gratitude for all the screaming girls — and guys, let’s be honest — in the audience.
“Anyone that knows me knows I’m the most awkward person in here,” he said.
But before too many hearts melted, he added with a sly grin, “It’s nice because on stage, I kind of feel cool.”
Hayes and his band then continued the show with the hit song “Wanted,” and the audience immediately started screaming. He managed to get the beginning of the first verse out before the overwhelming chorus of everyone in the crowd singing in unison quieted him.
As concertgoers took the chorus home, still in perfect rhythm, he looked out into the crowd with awe and pure joy on his face.
“As an artist, I always wanted to make music that meant something to someone, and tonight, I feel like I did,” he said.
The moment was magical.
Speeding things back up, Hayes delighted fans with a cover of “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon, putting his impressive vocal abilities on display. His hands moved a mile a minute on his guitar, and he didn’t even let a broken string sour his vibe.
Hayes closed the show with “I Want Crazy”, and there wasn’t a single person in the audience that wasn’t singing along. As per the crowd’s request — okay, chants — Hayes came back out on stage for his encore, repping a red OSU jersey.
The crowd went wild, and after his final song, “Love Makes Me,” he took one final bow with his band.
The show featured incredible performances both instrumentally and vocally, and was filled with a mixture of slow and upbeat songs and just the right amount of conversation. There wasn’t one person that left the LC that didn’t have a newfound love and respect for Hayes as a musician.