Hunter Hayes on Playing Super Bowl Week Parties: It's 'Like Seeing a Crazy Dream Become Reality'

Hunter Hayes

Hunter Hayes is pumped to bring his music to the Super Bowl party -- and all around the world. 

“Undertaking a show like this is like seeing a crazy dream become reality,” he tells Billboard ahead of his concert Thursday (Feb. 4) at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco for the go90 Live Concert Series celebrating Super Bowl 50. He joins a multi-day line-up that includes Fall Out Boy and Skrillex on Feb. 5 and 6, respectively.

Fans can visit for more details and score free tickets if they are in town, or they can tune in for free on the go90 app to watch live streaming of the show starting at 9 PM PST. 

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"We’ve always looked for ways to make the show a bit cooler than the room," he explains. "What I love about this is that the fact that fans can come in person for free, but there’s also this free App that through the digital side of things enables people who aren’t in town can still be a part of the show.” Hayes says those advancements make it fun for everybody. “I’ve always looked for things like that. It’s a really cool and exciting moment to see something like that come to the table have it feel as good and as solid as does. We’re very anxious to see it play out for the first time, and to be able to experience that.” 

The singer says that with the demographics of his fan base, you’ve definitely got to think outside the box in how one presents your music these days. “With the world that we live in – where there’s cameras everywhere, it seems that we’re all connected to everybody in a really cool way, I think we’re seeing that sense applied to the live world in a way that excites people. I want to get the show to as many fans as possible, and technology has made achieving some of these challenges of putting on a live show easier and cooler. That connection, whether it be social media, or an app, I think is huge, and speaks well of what we can see coming in the future. I’ve always been drawn to things like that.”
His fans have gotten to participate in the new technology, he says. “We’ve done streaming things, and there was the lighted bracelets that the fans wore to the show, and they controlled part of the show. When I heard about this, I was stoked and intrigued. It’s no longer a case of ‘You can’t do this or you can’t do that. You’ve got to do this. Our options are endless and fascinating. We talk about how social media breaks down the walls. I see this as another dimension of that. It brings fans from all over into a show that aren’t even in town. You can’t beat that.”
With the concert being part of Super Bowl week in “The City By The Bay,” does the singer consider himself a football expert? Not exactly, he says.
“I don’t follow sports too much, if I’m honest,” he says sheepishly. “I’m kind of hesitant to say that, because there’s so much judgment. But, I remember every Sunday, you can’t talk to my Grandmother during the Saints game,” he recalled of his youth growing up in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. “The whole family is focused on it. But, I do have a lot of memories of the family get-togethers and cookouts with the family after Church on Sundays, so that will always be a special memory,” he said.

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On the angle of technology, Hayes admits his generation might have struggled with the formats of 40 years ago. When asked about the evolution of the delivery of music -- he laughed at the thought of how his fans might deal with the formats of reel-to-reel tapes or 8-tracks.
“I think reel to reel would drive me crazy – having to deal with threading the tape reels, so I know that it would for everyone else,” he admitted. However, some of the old school ways definitely have their charm today. “I think there is a fascination with record albums, because of the bigger cover, and a whole sleeve of details with the credits and the thank-yous,” he said. “8-tracks, not so much….You have to figure someone would get upset if their favorite track was the one that separated the track."

Super Bowl 50