Taking Zorn by storm

Country musician Hunter Hayes came to UW-Eau Claire on Sunday night

More stories from Hannah Pitzl


Photo by Hannah Pitzl

Country artist, Hunter Hayes, played the guitar as well as other instruments during his performance in Zorn Arena.

The UW-Eau Claire University Activities Commission put on its spring concert on Sunday night as Hunter Hayes countrified the audience of an almost completely packed Zorn Arena.

“For the nerd that I am, I have to say you guys are so cool,” Hayes said to the audience.

The line to the doors of Zorn backed up to Eau Claire’s infamous hill until the concert opened its doors at 6:30 p.m., and the opening act, Ryan Lafferty, began singing at 7:30 p.m. along with three other instrumentalists.

Lafferty sang songs for the audience such as “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift and “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE to get the crowd hyped for the main event.

Hayes went out on stage at around 8:45 p.m., creating around a 45-minute break between the opening act and himself. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter opened his concert with the hit “Storm Warning.”

“It was really energetic especially when Hunter came out for the first time, and he kept going strong through the whole concert,” freshman concert goer Taylor Pomasl said.

The crowd went wild in the flashing lights while they witnessed Hayes display his different musical talents. He played a variety of instruments such as the piano during “Wanted” and switched to the guitar for “21.”

With no seating on the main floor in front of the stage, concert goers got the opportunity to dance to Hayes’ songs. Others who preferred seating had the side wall bleachers as an option.

“The seating was okay, sometimes on the floor it was hot and congested,” Pomasl said, “but it was still okay because you could dance freely and meet new people.”

Even though Pomasl struggled to keep cool during the concert, another concert goer Geneva Seeger, a sophomore, said she liked the option of people being on the floor and dancing.

From elementary school students, to college students, to parents, a variety of people gathered in Zorn to watch Hayes play. The atmosphere of the concert provided a more enjoyable time for concert goers like Seeger.

“I really liked the music and the energy, and I thought he did a really good job thanking everybody for being there,” Seeger said. “He seemed to be really humbled by everyone being there which is awesome to see.”

Around 10 p.m. Hayes left the stage, but the crowd was left needing more. Hayes returned for an encore, making a tribute to the recent death of the singer, Prince. Hayes ended the concert with Prince’s song “Kiss.”

“I really like Hunter Hayes, and I was super excited when I saw he was coming to campus,” Pomasl said. “Tickets were really cheap so I couldn’t pass it up.”