A ‘Dicklaration’ of a Good Time!
Carolina Liar, David Cook, and Gavin DeGraw took the stage Sunday night to kick off this week’s Homecoming festivities in Happy Valley. The show was awesome and very energetic. The show was also the first stop on David Cook and Gavin DeGraw’s national tour.
To start things off before the show, the Homecoming Dance Competition took place. But before that took place, the Homecoming Court tried to pump the crowd up from in the stands with renditions of “Fight On, State” and dances. Afterward, the two MCs took the stage to start introducing the six groups competing.
Urban Dance Troupe started off the competition, being the only dance crew to actually have guys in it. They were followed by the Penn State Dance Alliance who danced to a mix of Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson, incorporating some of MJ’s signature moves. The Belly Dance club took the stage next, doing a dance that involved balancing swords on their heads and moving around. That was definitely one of the most unique performances I’ve ever seen! Following them was Tapestry, tap dancing to a remix of K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag,” and then in the middle of the song tap dancing to complete silence. Whiplash finished out the competition, ultimately going on to win. Urban Dance Troupe came in as the runners-up.
Finally, before the show officially began, the 2011 Homecoming Court was introduced. They had “random dancing” on the stage to fill some time and to get everyone pumped up for the show!
Carolina Liar took the stage to start the show off. They also didn’t receive as much attention as David Cook or Gavin DeGraw, but still put on a fantastic set. They played a mix of songs from their new record, Wild Blessed Freedom. “Drowning” was a great song taken from that record. They also performed songs from their debut album, including “Show Me What I’m Looking For” and “I’m Not Over.” Lead singer Chad Wolf said to the crowd, “‘Show Me What I’m Looking For’ is a song that changed the band’s life forever.”
A little known fact about the band is one that many might find to be quite interesting. The band is classified as a Swedish band, despite the fact that Wolf is from South Carolina. All of the other members originate from Sweden!
After the band finished out their set, Wolf had this to say to the crowd, “You all are a sexy, sexy crowd! I can see you from here.”
David Cook followed Carolina Liar, and the crowd went insane! By that, I mean that many of the older women in the bleachers went slightly more crazy than their college-aged counterparts. It was quite entertaining to see many of the middle-aged women dance and shake their hips as if they were in college again.
David Cook’s set was very eventful. He covered a little portion of the Oasis classic, “Champagne Supernova,” which was the first cover of the night.
“Forgive us if we seem a little excited, but we had a record out in June, and this is the first time we’ve toured in a while!” he said to the audience. This was also where I noted that he was wearing leather pants. Leather pants that tied up the sides of the legs. Don’t worry. This fact seems like it’s not necessary, but it’ll be a big factor into what happened later on in the night!
Before he started on an excellent cover of Billy Joel’s classic ‘Movin’ On,’ he told a little story about how he and DeGraw met three years ago. Gavin gave him his number, and said, “My name’s Gavin DeGraw. G as in Gavin. A as in Gavin. V as in Gavin…” Cook said he never forgot how to spell DeGraw’s name after that.
After his cover, Cook ran around the stands and tried to reach out to as many fans as possible, by giving out high fives, mingling with the crowd on the floor, and taking a picture with one of his older fans. He performed another song, and shortly after that, Cook’s leather pants ripped up the side, driving the crowd wild!
“It’s the first show and my pants rip up to my butt.”
Since his pants ripped mid-song, he had a guitar to cover what was exposed. During the time he was performing, he announced, “All I could think about right now is ‘Dicklaration.'” It really would have been a, um…”dicklaration” if the crowd had seen more than he would have allowed. Before he performed another song, he said, “What’s the ETA on a new pair of pants?” He couldn’t just do a quick change on the spot, so the roadies had to duct tape his pant leg together. “Duct tape fixes everything!”
After his set was all said and done, he swiftly exited the stage with a white towel wrapped around him.
Gavin DeGraw finished out the night’s concert with many classics from his debut album, Chariot, as well as many songs from his latest album, Sweeter. Sadly, it is no longer free on Amazon MP3. Sorry if you missed out on the chance to get it for free!
DeGraw’s set was filled with fun, energy, ballads, and love songs. He performed a unique arrangement of “Over-Rated” that I thoroughly enjoyed, as well as mashing up several of his older songs with songs popular on the radio today. Before he broke into “Follow Through,” he covered The Script’s “Break Even.” After finishing the very danceable tune, “Chemical Party,” he broke into an amazing rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Grenade.”
During many of the slower songs in his set, I wished that my boyfriend was with me, because they were perfect couple songs. So, instead of him being close with me, I called him all the way out in California so he could enjoy the show as well. DeGraw’s voice, piano skills and lyrics are absolutely beautiful and moving, and lent themselves nicely to the love songs he had written.
He finished out the night’s show with a two-song encore, which included his latest single, “Not Over You.”
Overall, Rec Hall might not have been jam-packed, but the show was still quite enjoyable! If you missed out on the show, not only did you miss out on some killer dance moves, but some really unforgettable performances as well! I mean, only at Penn State could you see David Cook ripping his pants, Carolina Liar moving the crowd, and Gavin DeGraw almost doing a backflip from his piano on stage.
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