Shippensburg University students and locals lined up outide SU’s Heiges Field House Sunday night in near freezing temperatures until warmth and music greeted them on the inside —making their momentary feelings of misery a rewarding strife.
Primarily female fans contrasted by the stray male, packed themselves like sardines as they loyally awaited the star many college-aged adults were crazy about in their pre-teen years — Jesse McCartney. As could be predicted, McCartney was hugged with a plethora of blood-curdling female shrills that meshed together in unison as he strutted on stage.
“It’s been awhile,” McCartney said. “But I’m excited to be back.”
McCartney roused the audience after he announced that he will be releasing new music within the new year, and he let the jolt of high energy lead the way to the beginning of his set list.
Fans were pleased to hear McCartney play songs from the early 2000s including “Leavin’” and “Body Language,” rather than focusing solely on promoting his new music. The time lapse of more than a decade did not faze the audience as they chanted the lyrics of nearly all of McCartney’s old songs by heart.
Midway throughout his time on stage, McCartney searched the crowd for a lady to serenade on stage and every female in sight flailed her arms, practically begging “Pick me, Pick me!” A lucky SU student was crowned as the sole victor and trembled with disbelief as she sat onstage and claimed the once in a lifetime prize of being sung to by McCartney.
Fan favorite throwback “Beautiful Soul,” concluded McCartney’s performance on a nostalgic note that was hard for Andy Grammer to supersede. Some departed the venue as McCartney departed the stage, but a majority was blithely buckled in for the two-in-one show.
Grammer monopolized the stage from the moment he stepped foot on it and commenced his share of the show with hit-songs “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me.” As he trailed his opening songs with a strong set list of “Fresh Eyes” and “Honey I’m Good,” Grammer caught fans by surprise by jumping the barricades separating him from the sea of fans and becoming a part of the audience.
Similar to McCartney who brought a fan on stage during his performance, an SU student was pulled from the audience to sing a duet of the song “Give Love” with Grammer. The SU student thrived in the spotlight and spilled his powerful vocals and dance moves onto the stage — impressing his peers and Grammer with his talent and contagious energy.
Toward the tail end of his performance, Grammer teased fans with new music from his album “The Good Parts” that will drop on Dec. 1. His upcoming album lyrically taps into his new life as a father and also how freeing it is of to talk to people on a deeper level about good parts of life that are not always the easiest to share, rather than being robotically drawn to trivial small talk.
Looping again to throwbacks, Grammer ended the show with the song “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)” from his 2014 album “Magazines or Novels.” Dimming lights snuck up on the fleeting time of concertgoers and all romped around and sang with Grammer one final time.
The coupled McCartney and Grammer performance gracefully hurled fans back a few years with the catchy tunes that hooked individuals – but the announcement of new music for McCartney and Grammer in 2018 presents the possibility to rekindle their fan bases and build on their music.