Singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw will bring pop gold to Athens this weekend with a stripped-down show.
“You’re going to see Gavin in a very unique situation,” Andrew Holzaepfel, the senior associate director of student activities, said. “You’re going to have the opportunity to hear the hits, but they’re gonna be delivered in a different way.”
DeGraw, best known for his radio success with “I Don’t Want to Be,” “Not Over You” and “Chariot,” will bring his Raw Tour to Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Saturday night. There will be no opening act, and DeGraw will go on at 8 p.m. The remaining tickets are going fast, with prices ranging from $45 for the first 10 rows to $25 for the rest.
Holzaepfel said the show would bring one of the most diverse crowds MemAud has seen. DeGraw piqued interest among Athens residents, residents of surrounding towns and drew a good number of students, as well. He added that students’ age may play a role in helping ticket sales.
“Obviously, Gavin’s still very big and still making new hits, but there were some hits in some key moments and current students’ lives,” Holzaepfel said. “There’s almost a nostalgia.”
Sophomores Alyson Hilligoss and Denisha Herring, both studying nursing, recalled their fondness of the nine-season TV drama One Tree Hill for which “I Don’t Want to Be” was the theme song. Herring also expressed interest because the show is acoustic.
“He has a nice voice,” said Herring, “I feel like I would go just because of that.”
DeGraw will play in a trio rather than a full band, with a focus on the instrumentals. The Raw Tour set list also features a variety of covers and some of his newer work, such as the 2016 song “Making Love With The Radio On.”
“We’re really excited because we’re one of the very few colleges amongst some really big venues that are doing the show,” Holzaepfel said.
The Raw Tour is an important gig to book because another opportunity like it may not come around again. DeGraw, like most artists, usually plays full-band shows with some pre-recorded backup, Holzaepfel said.
“Of course, it’s gonna be a show, and there will be the same lights and sounds and everything, but your focus on the stage is gonna go to Gavin,” Holzaepfel said. “It’ll be nice to focus in on him with few distractions.”