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Hayes goes for world record

Paradise Rock Club, Boston, May 8, 2014

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Hunter Hayes was on a world record pace this morning, making a pit stop in town in his pursuit of the most concerts played in a 24-hour period

Now, it may be a bit hard to call 4 songs over 18 minutes a concert, but so may it be in terms of trying to break the record of eight set by the Flaming Lips.

If the idea of going for the record seems to be a bit of a stretch, give Hayes a lot of credit for having his heart in the right place. The day also was called the 24-Hour Road Race to End Childhood Hunger. He stood behind the effort to raise awareness of child hunger and encouraged people via video and live to help out.

Hayes started the morning off by playing the "Good Morning America' show before quickly hopping north to Boston.

And for four songs, Hayes was quite good, starting with the title track of his release on Tuesday, "Storyline" with guitar and a chunk of mandolin starting off the song. Here and elsewhere (although it would be hard not to for the amount of time he was on stage), Hayes brought the energy on the catchy song.

He went the quieter route on the number one ballad "Wanted" where the crowd sang along. Hayes, on the diminutive side, sure has an extremely strong female following. In fact, the sold-out show drew many many many dozens of high school teen girls. It will be interesting to see how he or they can grow together.

The catchy songs continued with "Tattoo" from "Storyline" about the idea of getting his girl's name on his biceps and his current anthemic hit "Invisible." The song is the perfect powerful message song of addressing those who are the outcasts and loners of society. Hayes knows a hit song when he has one.

The hour may have been early (the Boton gig was over by 11:30), but Hayes seemed like he was ready after proclaiming this his second show of the day. Minutes later, it was gig over and a race for one of the big tour buses that would taken them to Worcester, Providence, Connecticut, Jersey and eventually a 5 a.m. gig on Saturday in Philadelphia.

There may not have been a lot of music from Hayes, but you got the sense that he was an earnest fellow, who can sing and put catchy songs together, even some with meaning.

Records are made to be broken, but for one day, Hayes may be king of the world.

Dan + Shay played a long longer than the headliner did, about 35 minutes, and the new duo with a hit on their hands ("19 You + Me") has a good thing going as well. Like Hayes, one would be hard pressed to label their music as anything remotely treading upon traditional country sounds.

Shay Mooney capably handled lead vocals while Dan Smyers helped out on many backing harmonies and played acoustic guitar.

There was a bit of a free flowing atmosphere to their set with Shay saying they didn't have a set list and were making it up as they were going along. They really did make up one song on the spot, "Selfies in Boston," which had a nice flavor to it, at least musically.

In fact, they really did play a brand new song, "Messed Up," which is not even on their just released CD "Where It All Began." "Messed Up" displayed the duo's solid harmonies. One would have thought they'd be pushing their new release hard. Give them credit for going outside the box.

But that was a rare moment because they're not exactly edgy. Dan + Shay came off as a likable if you're good with the pop side of country.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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