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Hunter Hayes Reveals New Song, Covers Vince Gill at New York City Show

Hunter Hayes
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Hunter Hayes was as excited to be playing his first full band show in New York City as the roughly 250 people in attendance were to see him. The 20-year-old has assembled a sizable group of fans that follow him from show to show. Many were on hand at the Highline Ballroom on Wednesday night, holding up signs and shouting ‘I love you’ between nearly every song.

Hayes promised to play every cut from his self-titled 2011 debut album. Aside from the single ‘Storm Warning’ — which sounds better live than on the radio, and it sounds pretty good on the radio — highlights included ‘Rainy Season’ and ‘Wanted,’ the latter of which seems to be setting up as the second single from ‘Hunter Hayes.’

Additionally, the singer revealed that he’d recorded a song called ‘Where We Left Off’ for the ‘Act of Valor’ soundtrack. According to IMDB, the movie — about a team of U.S. Navy SEALs rescuing a kidnapped CIA operative — opens up nationwide on Feb. 24.

On the album, Hayes played every note on every instrument, but stuck to singing, piano and guitar playing onstage Wednesday night. His bluesy guitar licks are what a first-timer walked away talking about. He’s capable of holding a crowd for long stretches with powerful, emotional solos.

Vocally, Hayes isn’t yet a completely convincing balladeer to anyone over the age of 25, but it’s clear he wants to be and will be after a few more heartbreaks. He never plays it safe, choosing to warble certain notes when just holding on may be better, and he tackles covers that only a seasoned singer would attempt. His version of Vince Gill‘s ‘Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away’ and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ aren’t record-worthy, but they were more than entertaining and far better than one would assume.

Hayes has the confidence of a superstar, but that he doesn’t come across as anything but grateful for the love each individual fan shows him makes him and endearing artist. He wants to be a very big deal, and is willing to learn the lessons and do the work necessary to get there. If something doesn’t work, there’s little doubt he’s aware of it and making plans to get better next time.

Watch Hunter Hayes Perform ‘Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away’

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