Hunter Hayes, Ryan Lafferty and an SRU student, Andrew Loose, performed at SRU on Friday to a full crowd as part of UPB’s fall concert.
Lafferty opened the show for the 21 Tour and invited Loose to accompany him during the cover of “Cheerleader” by Omi.
“When Ryan said he wanted to play this song, he sent me this specific arrangement to it, and it wasn’t very different from the original, but one of the things he did say was he wanted there to be more improvisation as part of it,” said Loose. “In the middle, I took a solo and I just did what I’ve been trained to do, playing the notes and rhythms that feel good and make the crowd want to dance.”
Loose also discussed what he hopes his moment on stage with Lafferty brings for other music majors at Slippery Rock.
“I think this was a really great opportunity to showcase us,” said Loose. “We are trying to be more active in the community and play more concerts so hopefully this inspires people to come see us.”
Lafferty performed other covers, including “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift ft. Kenrick Lamar and “I Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd, as well as showcasing some of his original music. At the end of his performance, he threw on a Troy Polamalu jersey and stated, “I married into a Steelers family.”
After Lafferty’s opening act, Hayes took the stage, opening with his song “Tattoo.” During his performance, he played an acoustic and electric guitar as well as a few pieces on the piano and a mandolin. He played a few covers as well, including “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith and “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon.
“What’s cool about this show is it’s his actual tour so they brought in the tour buses and all their equipment,” Ryan Logue, UPB’s director of speakers said.
Logue also talked about how excited he was to see the show after all the work the UPB staff put into it.
“We worked hard on this show and afterwards when everyone’s clapping, it’s always a great feeling knowing we pleased all these people.”
Logue also talked about what it was like to meet Hayes.
“He’s a really down to earth guy, he’s one of those guys you’d hang out with and grab a cup of coffee with at Starbucks,” Logue said.
Logue wasn’t the only one that was happy about his encounter with the country singer. UPB’s Director of University Events, Ian Banks expressed how friendly Hayes was towards the UPB staff.
“He was a very nice guy. He stood up on a chair and took a selfie with everyone,” Banks said.
After the show, fans waited outside the venue in hopes to see if the artists would come out and chat with them. Once they called out to Lafferty’s drummer to get his attention, the fans were ecstatic to see Ryan Lafferty and his band members making their way over, followed by Hunter Hayes.