By. Nathan Cram
Husson University is very well known for bringing in live events to the well renowned Gracie Theatre. Acts such as SNL star Pete Davidson, and Maine comedy legend Bob Marley have “graced” the Gracie stage. But the most recent event that has taken place at Husson was a country star by the name of Canaan Smith. Smith started in the music business around 2009 and since then he has released hit singles such as “We Got Us” which was released in 2012, and a crowd favorite “Love You Like That” that debuted in 2014. It was a show that had a lot of hype leading up to it, and it lived up to it.
The show started off with a local talent by the name of Emily Doe(unknown last name). She came out on stage and performed some solo covers of songs like “Heartless” by Kanye West, “Burning House” by CAM, and even the classic “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. For just having a mic and an acoustic guitar, Emily really set the stage for Smith, getting solid ovations for her performances.
Now with most concerts there is always an intermission between acts. That anticipation of when the lights are going to go out and the show will start. That moment soon came and the light show began. Quick bursts of light, then total darkness. Each time you could see the outline of the band members coming out on stage. There was a smoke machine that started to fill the stage with a light gray haze. Then it suddenly goes silent, and Smith appears out of the dark and the show begins.
They start off by playing a few songs to get the crowd started. They used the lights in such a way that really made the show entertaining. Smith was always interacting with the crowd. Whether it be getting the crowd to sing along to his songs, or just giving high fives to people in the crowd. It was very loud and exciting but it was also very laid back. Being able to interact with a crowd really brings a great dynamic to any concert, and Smith perfected that the whole time.
About half way through the show, Smith and his group started to perform a song called “Iris” which is originally by the Goo Goo Dolls. Once I heard them start I was not quite sure how I was going to feel about it, but they really proved me wrong. They added their own signature sound to it that really made it stand out. Soon after this, Smith came out alone on stage and had a very heart-felt moment with the crowd. He told a story about a brother he had lost when he was younger, and he then performed a song that he dedicated to his brother. There was no smoke machines, no drums, no band. Just Smith, the crowd, and the very touching lyrics dedicated to his brother Nathaniel.
To finish off the night Smith did something that I have never really seen before at any concert. He took a solo drum and started banging on it with drumsticks. He said that at each concert he would destroy a drum and put it up for auction. Then the money that they make on the drum would all go towards the St. Jude children’s hospital. He finished with his last song which was one of his major hit singles called “Love You Like That”. He then finished off by smashing the drum against the stage and finally slamming it on the floor. What a way to end the show.
Overall I found this show very entertaining. The way Smith interacted and really opened up with the crowd was amazing. He was very energetic and brought a certain confidence to the stage that everyone could see. This was definitely one of the best shows that has come to Husson.