By: Christine LaFrancesca, Staff Writer
Last Thursday in PAWS, students waited faithfully for the Campus Activities Board’s Hoedown Throwdown to begin. With the line extending past the Union doors, there was no denying the names they were murmuring: Dan and Shay.
Dan and Shay, from Nashville, Tennessee, are the country music duo who produced the Top-40 single “Where It All Began.” While students were waiting eagerly for them, others were interested in who the opening act would be.
“I definitely want to hear “19 You + Me” from Dan and Shay,” senior special education major Kaitlyn Adcock said. “I didn’t see who the opener was supposed to be on the CAB twitter or anything so I don’t really know who that is, but hopefully they’re cool.”
The crowd grew closer to the stage once the lights dimmed at 8 p.m. Ryan Lafferty and back-up guitarist Kyle Snyder took the stage and started with his most popular song “Let Me Get You Through the Night.” Lafferty followed with covers of “Bye Bye Bye” by NSYNC, “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE and “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber.
“I actually really like Ryan, he was awesome,” senior mass communications major Kara Barmoy said. “I wish he would have been on a little longer. I hadn’t really heard much of his stuff besides the first song. The covers he did were so good.”
Lafferty and Snyder ended by asking the crowd to huddle up so they could take a picture for Snapchat, while telling students that Towson was one of the best shows they have played in a while.
CAB not only surprised students with Lafferty, but also with their full buffet complete with biscuits, chicken, gravy and desserts to make sure students felt the hometown atmosphere of the South.
Around 9 p.m. the crowd began chanting for Dan and Shay. The instant they stepped on stage, students roared and they started with their song, “What You Do to Me.”
Senior CAB member and event coordinator Melate Berhanu was more than pleased with the country concert’s turn out.
“It’s so exciting that this is CAB’s first country concert to completely sell out,” Berhanu said. “We tried to go for a relaxing, tailgate vibe. Pop-country, especially Dan and Shay, were my first pick. I was hoping students would come out and I love that we sold this thing out. Everyone seemed to be having such a good time.”
CAB goes through agent Todd Erickson, of BABCO Entertainment, for all their concert booking and management services.
“Going through our agent makes it easier to pick artists that will do really well on campus,” Berhanu said. “We give them a date and they give us a list of artists that would be able to perform that day. It was cool to get artists that are signed to such a huge record company like Warner Bros to perform here.”
CAB member Kayla Defoe wanted to put on a show that would attract not only country music fans, but also something all students can enjoy.
“I think the reason we went for pop-country instead of another artist is because we thought more students would like something they’ve heard on the radio before,” Defoe said. “Dan and Shay are so talented. It doesn’t hurt that they are both adorable too.”
Dan and Shay played “Show You Off,” another popular single, and even played their hit “Party Girl,” a song that students were anxiously waiting to hear.
“Hearing ‘Party Girl’ made my night. I walked past a few groups of people saying they wanted to hear that song too,” senior special education major Blake Garcia said. “They were awesome.”