It takes supreme confidence to begin a concert with a spoken word poem followed by a gentle, acoustic ballad. Neither tend to elicit the excited energy that is often expected at the start of a pop show, but Andy Grammer proved that expectations can be mistaken when he recently electrified the crowd at The Fillmore Silver Spring by doing exactly that.
Of course, surprising everyone by choosing to perform in the middle of the general admission floor upped the excitement levels as the spotlight revealed Andy among the sea of fans on Oct. 1. After a brief poem about how he will choose to see the good in world even if people feel that he should be more discerning, Andy played the title track to his 2019 album, Naive.
It has only been a year and a half since Andy Grammer last performed in the DMV, but this was not a repeat concert. With a new album, Andy and crew upped the production value of the show. By spending half of the show performing tracks off Naive, the fans were able to listen to nearly the entire new album live. In the middle of the show, Andy ran through a series of new tracks, including “Best Of You,” “She’d Say,” “I Am Yours,” and “Spotlight.”
Stream Naive by Andy Grammer on Spotify:
Andy is a self-professed optimist, and he used his entire show to be an uplifting experience for his fans. Throughout the concert, Andy took time in between songs to tell stories from his life. Before becoming a famous recording artist, Andy explained how he used to sing on the street corners in his hometown. Once, while practicing at home before heading out to sing for the passersby, he received a knock at the door but nobody was there when he answered, just a Post-it stuck on the door with the message “Your voice is terrible. Give up the dream.” He used this slight as motivation to help fuel his passion to sing, and went into the song “I Was Born for This.”
After talking about how the loss of his mother 10 years ago was devastating for him, Andy asked for volunteers from the audience to come up on stage and talk about overcoming painful things in their own life. A girl named Mackenzie was chosen from the crowd, and she explained how her father left when she was very young and was never a part of her life, but watching her mother helped herself grow into the strong woman she has now become.
Andy and his band turned this tale of perseverance into a song which they made up on the spot. That then lead into new song “Wish You Pain,” a song directed from Andy to his daughter about how he hopes she experiences some heartache, because the pain allows you to feel and enjoy the joys of life that much more.
The crowd kept dancing throughout the night as hit songs “Honey I’m Good,” “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)” were all played to great excitement.
For a man who continually professes hopefulness, the night ended in a seemingly perfect way, with an encore performance of Andy’s 2019 hit song “Don’t Give Up on Me.”
Here are some pictures of Andy Grammer performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Oct. 1, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of Chris Smyth.