To say that it’s taken a while for Walker Hayes to get the success he deserves would be an understatement. His tale is a familiar one for any artist with record deals coming and going and a few personal issues that took time to work through. All the while Hayes continued to work on his music until he eventually caught the attention of Nashville songwriter and producer Shane McAnally. Together they worked on Hayes’ distinctive and unique sound which resulted in Hayes’ album boom. being released in December.
I was a little nervous about how Hayes would go down this weekend as people can be hesitant to embrace anyone doing something a bit different but he’s attracted quite the audiences. Ahead of his performance at the official aftershow party, Hayes took to the Spotlight Stage to perform two tracks for the arena audience. He opened his set with his Top 10 single You Broke Up With Me, armed with only his acoustic guitar.
The song sounded fantastic in the arena and the audience knew all of the words. I could see people rushing to be near the Spotlight Stage as he performed and his unique brand of Country was a surefire hit. Hayes is such an interesting artist to watch in a live environment as he has so much charisma and talent, it’s all pretty captivating.
For his second and final song, Hayes performed album track Beautiful. I’m pretty sure the track will be a single at some point and it was another hit with the audience. The song’s catchy melody made it easy for everyone to sing along, even if they didn’t know it, and Hayes worked the crowd like a seasoned pro.
I’m really delighted that Hayes has been getting such a fantastic reception. His Spotlight Stage performance showed that he more than deserved his inclusion in the line-up. Pushing boundaries is important in any genre and one thing no one can ever accuse him of is being like anyone else. I can’t wait for him to come back with a headline tour as we need plenty more of Walker Hayes here in the UK.
Set list: 1. You Broke Up With Me 2. Beautiful Performance date: 11th March 2018