I first caught singer/songwriter Andy Grammer live at Atlanta’s Jiggle Jam back in December of 2012. So, when my family decided to celebrate my sister’s 15th birthday by going to see Grammer at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I was all in.
And I was not disappointed.
With stage skills honed as a street musician on Los Angeles’ 3rd Street Promenade, Grammer combines an easy-going, pop/folk musical style with an up-beat, guy-next-door personality. The result is a positive, let’s-have-fun-for-the-night feeling that brings the crowd to the same playful mood exhibited by Grammer and his band.
The Chattanooga concert opened with The Ready Set, a favorite with my sisters and their friends. Similar to Owl City, The Ready Set is a single performer, Jordan Mark Witzigreuter. The music was heavily synthesized alternative pop, with elements of techno and rock. I think my middle school self would have enjoyed him immensely. He was a great warm up to Grammer.
Grammer took to the stage with his band for more than an hour. Performances of some of his most well-known hits, including “Fine By Me”, “Keep Your Head Up”, “Miss Me”, and “Crazy Beautiful”, had the audience singing along.
Between the music, there was playful banter with the crowd and personal tidbits about the songs he wrote, including how “Fine By Me” once got the handsome 30-year old out of a ticket.
“Got pulled over by a chick cop, and she noticed my guitar and keyboard in the back of the car,” Grammer told the crowd. “She asked me if I was a musician. I started singing “Fine By Me”, and she says ‘That’s one of my favorite songs. Get out of here.'”
A stint walking across the empty chairs in the sixth row (everyone was on their feet!), a rendition of Happy Birthday to You for a fan who had tweeted Grammer earlier in the day, and some new music from his soon-to-be-released second album rounded out the evening.
One of my personal favorites of the night was “Ladies”, a song Grammer wrote for his mom Kathy, who passed away five years ago. It’s a song that reminds us that every lady is someone’s daughter, sister, or wife, and they need to be respected.
I couldn’t help but smile during “Forever”, a song Grammer obviously penned for his wife, singer/songwriter Aijia. I could tell you more, but that would ruin it – it’s one of those songs you need to hear to appreciate.
While meet and greets are usually reserved for high profile guests or radio station contest winners, Grammer gave everyone in the audience an opportunity. By sending out a tweet with the hash-tag “Back Home”, the name of his new single, fans were randomly selected to go back stage and meet the pop star personally. Screams were heard throughout the arena as the lucky winners received their notifications.
An Andy Grammer concert is a musical experience that just makes you feel glad you came. If you’re lucky enough to be near one of these cities, an Andy Grammer concert is coming to you:
April 5 – Washington College, Chestertown, MD
April 11 – Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
April 14 – Idaho State University, Pocatella, ID
Be sure to check out Grammer’s latest single, “Back Home”, downloadable on iTunes April 8, 2014.