Dan Shay perform at 2016 spring concert

By Ashlyn Korienek | 4/10/16 9:53pm

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GVL / Emily Frye American Country Music singer Joel Crouse hits the stage at Grand Valley State University on Thursday April 7, 2016.

by Emily Frye / Grand Valley Lanthorn

With an eager line of people wrapped around the Fieldhouse Arena, attendees at the Grand Valley State University spring concert faced the 30 degree weather wearing an array of denim, plaid shirts and spring dresses. Nearly 3,000 people attended, and many waited hours before the show.

Waiting paid off for those in line with a visit from the stars. Two hours before the doors opened, headlining artists Dan + Shay tweeted “Hey Allendale, y'all are coolest for hanging out in line all day. Gonna come say hey.”

Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Award winning country music duo Dan & Shay hit the stage at Grand Valley State University on Thursday April 7, 2016.

On April 7, headlining artists Dan + Shay, along with opening acts Joel Crouse and Ryan Kinder, performed at the 2016 spring concert hosted by Spotlight Productions.

"We picked Dan + Shay because country concerts always go over well with GV," said Brandi Barno, member of the Spotlight Productions music committee. "They've been around for a few years but they're just now starting to get their footing and launch into popularity.”

The country music duo, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, are signed with Warner Bros. Records in Nashville, Tennessee. The two met in 2012 and released their first hit-single “19 You + Me” in 2013. Shortly after, the album “Where It All Began” was released, achieving three Top 40 singles. In 2016, the band produced a new song, "From The Ground Up" for their album of the same name.

After Hoodie Allen took over Grand Valley State University's hip hop scene during the 2015 spring concert, Spotlight Productions decided to host a show featuring country music.

Janelle Shankin, music chair for Spotlight Productions, said the decision to invite Dan + Shay was a collective one among members. The crew conducted a student survey, which indicated interest in a country music theme for the 2016 concert. In addition, Spotlight Productions was able to book Dan + Shay for $25,000.

“Compared to the Hoodie Allen show last year, there’s equal if not more excitement about Dan + Shay both on social media and on campus,” Shankin said. “Students have been very supportive after the concert announcement.”

Dan + Shay kicked off their set-list with their song “Somewhere Only We Know,” Smyers announced to the GVSU audience, “This may be the biggest crowd that we ever played for.”

After the show, the band reiterated the sentiment by tweeting “Probably our biggest headlining show yet. Michigan is legit.”

However, Barno said the total sales for the Dan + Shay spring concert won’t be available until mid-summer.

Joel Crouse, who performed in 2013 as the opening act for Taylor Swift, was the first to play at Thursday’s concert. Crouse sang his upbeat track “If You Want Some,” which was recorded on his 2014 album “Even the River Runs.”

Ending his 30-minute set, Crouse calmed the mood by inviting the crowd to sing-along to an acoustic cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You.”

“Grand Valley State, thank you so much for having me. You guys rock,” Crouse said. “Go Lakers! Let’s party again sometime.”

Up next, Ryan Kinder, a Warner Bros. Records country singer, took the stage with his 2015 single “Tonight.” Illuminating the arena with their smartphones, the crowd swayed to the soulful 2014 song “Kiss Me When I’m Down.”

Near the end of his performance, Kinder played an electric rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” Kinder said the band recently learned the song to play for the GVSU show.

For more information on Spotlight's upcoming events, visit www.gvsu.edu/studentlife/programming.

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