Gavin DeGraw / April 20, 2009 / New York (Highline Ballroom)

Fans who braved the rain to see Gavin DeGraw at Highline Ballroom in New York City Monday night (April 20) were treated to material from “Free,” his new album, in addition to old favorites. The crowd-pleasing singer/songwriter--whose current tour is officially titled “Where It Began” but affectionately nicknamed “The DeGraw-some Tour” by his brother, Joey DeGraw--presented a more stripped down and under-saturated set that was reflective of his latest material.

After performances by Joey and Honeyhoney, DeGraw opened the show alone onstage with “Dancing Shoes,” a track from the new album. DeGraw’s band then joined him to play more highlights from “Free” (“Glass,” “Indian Summer”) and the singer proved to be a triple-threat, switching back and forth between lead guitar and piano while crooning soulfully to the crowd. The confidence was palpable, at least until DeGraw’s performance swagger swiftly melted away when an audience member yelled, “Gavin, I want to have your babies!” to which he half-jokingly replied, “My stomach hurts all of the sudden.”

DeGraw’s set shifted to an open jam session during the reggae-tinged “Next to Me” and the Dave Mason-inspired “Chemical Party, and the singer also performed a few covers--The Commodores' “Easy Like Sunday Morning” and Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman,” which was appropriately blended with DeGraw’s own song, “In Love with a Girl.” For his extended encore, DeGraw rewarded the audience's applause with “Stay,” the first single from “Free,” followed by “Crush” and “I Have You to Thank.” On the final song, “I Don’t Want To Be,” his own vocals were overpowered by excited fans singing along to the lines, “I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately /All I have to do is think of me and I have peace of mind.” DeGraw closed out the night by jumping down from his piano, shaking hands, and inviting the crowd to join him at his favorite bar after the show.

Setlist:

"Dancing Shoes"
"Glass"
"Indian Summer"
"Free"
"Cheat on Me"
"Follow Through"
"Next to Me"
"Meaning"
"Mountains to Move"
"Easy Like Sunday Morning (The Commodores cover)"
"Chariot"
"Chemical Party"
"I Got A Woman (Ray Charles cover)"
"In Love with a Girl"

Encore:

"Stay"
"Crush"
"I Have You to Thank"
"I Don’t Want to Be"

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print