In case you missed it, the one and only Jesse McCartney headlined our Homecoming Concert last Wednesday. 10 year old me was WEEPING.
One of two annual concerts that are free for students at the U, the Homecoming Concert was held on the Union lawn. Sadly, at the height of mid-term season, it was a smaller crowd than it’s been in the past, but the concert itself was amazing nonetheless.
Opener Dallas Wayde wowed the crowd right out of the gate. A Utah local, Wayne played a set of pop/rock/sometimes-more-alternative songs, and the audience loved him. His energy was contagious, and honestly left us all wondering how someone can jump around a stage so much, while still executing amazing vocals. His lungs must be made of steel. If there’s one thing we learned from his set, it’s that it’s time to stop sleeping on awesome local artists.
My only complaint was that the opener at this concert finished around 8:15, leaving the crowd to wait almost an hour for the main act. I get it, these things take time to set up and transitions are more complicated than they appear, but I’ve seen shows transition on a much bigger stage in much less time.
With that being said, the wait, as you can imagine, was well worth it. At 9:05pm on September 25th, everyone in the crowd was suddenly launched back to elementary school as Jesse McCartney ran onstage. It was like the crowd’s collective heart melted on the spot.
But Jesse didn’t come on and immediately begin one of his heartthrob bops – no, he ran in as his guitarist shredded along to some trap backing music, and spent a few minutes banging away on a sound board. Really, though, no complaints here. Jesse McCartney can go trap if he wants to, and we’ll support him anyway.
His first ~real~ song was “She’s No You”. A classic. From there, his set list was full of all the oldies we wanted, plus a couple of his new songs (which I honestly loved just as much as his old stuff). We thought for a second that he was going to leave without playing “Leavin,’” in which case we’d be leavin’, but of course, Jesse did not disappoint. He kept the crowd hyped up the entire time, and left us with “Beautiful Soul” as an encore. Tears. Were. Shed.
I think out of all the concerts that the U has put on since I’ve been a student here (I’m a senior now), this one might have been my favorite. Call it nostalgia, or my unwavering conviction that I will one day marry an ex-Radio Disney heartthrob (congrats on your engagement, btw, Jesse. Kinda rude you didn’t wait for me but whatever), but my love for artists of the early 2000s will never die. Also, even though the crowd wasn’t the size it was for Migos, it still felt full, and was honestly the perfect amount of people. I didn’t feel like I was getting trampled on, and I could actually see everything which, if you’re my height, adds major bonus points.
I can only hope that the spring concert brings as much joy to the crowd as this one did. In my experience with live music, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the artist has put out new music – if they still love what they’re singing, the audience will love it just as much, if not more. Jesse was the perfect example of this. He clearly still has so much passion for what he does, and I think I speak for the whole audience when I express my gratitude that he didn’t try to push a bunch of random new music on us. What a *cough* ~bEaUtIfUl sOuL~ :’).
Photo Source: all Erin Sleater Photography