Singer-songwriters Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson couldn’t have been more different during Sunday night’s show at Red Butte Gardens.
DeGraw moved from song to song with few words in between; and when he did speak it was just a sentence or two. “I don’t have a lot to say, so let’s just play some more songs,” he said after opening with five top hits.
Nathanson, who preceded DeGraw on stage, did all the talking. He joked with audience members, told stories and encouraged the crowd to sing and clap along.
“I love that I can guilt people into singing,” he joked. “I feel like my mom.”
While it was ying and yang, it combined for one memorable evening.
Degraw • Dressed in black jeans and his trademark hat, Degraw kicked off his part of the show with “Leading Man” then quickly jumped into “Chariot,” followed by “Sweeter,” “Heartbreak” and “Follow Through.”
Nathanson • This New York native, led of his 13-song set with “Kill the Lights,” “Annie’s Always Waiting,” and “Car Crash.”
DeGraw • While the fans were standing on their feet throughout his hour-plus set, it was his smash hit “I Don’t Want To Be” that had them the most energized.
Nathanson • The rocker got off the stage and walked through the crowd of adoring fans while belting out his upcoming single “Headphone.”
Best Quip • When Nathanson told the crowd to “shake it like it’s Mardi Gras and your underpants are on fire.”
Encore • DeGraw returned to the stage after his 13-song set to perform two of his biggest hits “Make a Move,” and “I’m Not Over You.”
Low Notes • Nathanson did a good job getting the crowd revved up, but it took the crew nearly 40 minutes to set up the stage for DeGraw’s set and the high energy deflated a bit.
Opener • Mary Lambert, best known for her work on “Same Love” with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, opened the show. Besides singing the gay-rights single, the Seattle-based singer-songwriter, offered a spoken word piece about body image “which makes people feel uncomfortable,” and new upbeat single called “Secrets.”
“I’d be crazy to keep writing sad songs after the great year I just had” she said.
Up Next • The indie-pop band, Fitz and the Tantrums, perform Monday night. The show is sold out.