Jesse McCartney was born and raised in Ardsley, New York, and as his platform grew and his influence spread, so did the distance between him and his family. Shortly after starting his music career, he moved to Los Angeles, where he began crafting his musical foundation. He is known for a multitude of recognizable anthems, collaborating with some of the greatest names in the music industry and being portrayed on screen in notorious versions of film. He was cast in “Hannah Montana,” sang with the Backstreet Boys and lyrically cultivated the song, “Beautiful Soul,” which he made every individual standing in the auditorium at Ohio University, Wednesday night, feel as if they had.
The event, hosted by OHIO Live, began at 8 p.m. and was just one performance in OU’s Performing Arts and Concert Series. Tickets ranged between $25 and $35 to see the star.
Opening for McCartney was Abby Hamilton, a musician from Nicholasville, Kentucky. Like many individuals in attendance at the concert, she admitted to having a McCartney poster in her childhood bedroom, so this was a surreal, full-circle experience for the young Kentucky musician. Hamilton said she was in good spirits because the Forever 21 dress she purchased prior to the event fortunately avoided what would have been a rather awkward tear. Her good spirits were infectious to the audience, leaving them laughing and harmoniously swaying to the beautiful sound of her voice as she sang five handwritten songs. Each song had different meanings and inspiration, ranging from kissing boys to a ‘90s Faith Hill country song, all the way to a song with a deeper denotation. The third song she performed was a song she wrote when she was depressed, a song that reminded her she is worth something, which she said wanted to share with everyone sitting in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.
There was a mass of people convening for McCartney’s return to the stage: moms, daughters, students, brothers, dads, fans and those just looking for a good time on a Wednesday night. There were even people looking to celebrate a birthday like Ashley Miller, a freshly-27-year-old concert-goer, out commemorating the turning of digits with her sister.
“I don’t get many kid-free nights,” said Miller. “I am most excited to hear him perform ‘Beautiful Soul’ or 'Leavin.’”
Miller’s two anticipated songs are two of McCartney’s most popular songs out on the charts.
As fans started chanting his name, McCartney ran out on stage, a red bull in one hand and a microphone in the other. Dressed in a brown leather jacket and baby blue jeans, he began feeling himself and the music as he danced compelling moves. The vibrations of the lyrics that rolled off his tongue could be felt through every fiber of one’s being, tingling from head to toe as fans seemed as if they could not wait for the next song to be sung.
The strobe lights danced to the music and the audience clapped along to the beat as he ran through the setlist. He sang a combination of older songs and more recently released songs, after telling the backstory and inspiration behind the ones that created a powerful impact on his life. McCartney confessed to his fans that this was his first time at OU and will probably be one of his last shows before the holiday season, but his favorite place to be is on stage. He even told the story behind the greatest hit of his career that he never even got to record for himself. He wrote a song with the lead singer of One Republic and his label did not like the song he produced. The song just sat around until one day he got a call from Simon Cowell saying he wanted to give the song to a female artist, and that song was called, “Bleeding Love.” He concluded the concert with more heartfelt moments and catchy songs.
At the conclusion of the concert, Ellie Morgan, a freshman studying communication sciences and disorders, said the atmosphere helped make the concert.
“I thought the Jesse McCartney concert was really fun,” Morgan said. “The energy of not only Jesse but the audience was really great. The concert was vibrant and exciting and I would definitely see Jesse McCartney in concert again if I had the opportunity.”
OU seemed to feel the same way as Morgan about seeing McCartney again. As the concert concluded, the audience was filled with a mixture of joy from belting their hearts out the last two hours and sadness from the closure of a really fun Wednesday night. One thing is for sure, McCartney still has a “Beautiful Soul” and it is not “Leavin’” him anytime soon.