Dan + Shay + a Memory

dan-shay-logo-652x367Unfortunately Spring Break is now behind us, and although this was a great one spent at SXSW, I have spent the past few days reminiscing over other experiences I have had at SXSW. In the past, I have had the opportunity to see many different artists, but among some of  my favorite performances, are Dan + Shay and Tori  Kelly (but this is about country music, so I’ll try to keep it that way. And it may have been because Tori Kelly was being serenaded by Dan + Shay, or it may have been Shay’s runs that made me have a memorable experience,  or the fact that their new single “From the Ground Up” is one of my favorite songs of the moment, but it’s definitely a memory I don’t forget!

Dan + Shay are an American country duo comprised of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney. They both met at a party Dan had thrown at his house. Smyers has said that he hadn’t been able to afford to pay for there to be heat in his home, so in order  to keep his guests warm, they were all in a tent and all of the guests were huddled around a TV. To pass the time, and everyone at the party mostly being musicians (isn’t that what everyone does in Nashville?), Dan and Shay spontaneously started to jam out.

From that moment on, the two realized there was something there and decided to continue making music. Eventually they got signed to Warner Bros. Records Nashville and released their first single “19 You and Me”, along with other singles like “Stop, Drop, and Roll” and  “Nothing Like You”, all from their first studio album Where It All Began. They gained success and have received ACMA vocal duo nominations as well as a CMT nomination for their video “19 You and Me”. Dan + Shay have also been on tour with people like Hunter Hayes, Blake Shelton, and are about to embark on a summer tour with Darius Rucker!

tumblr_inline_n3f5ilYbvn1sb8vriThey performed at Banger’s Sausage House and Brewery at SXSW in 2014 for a SB projects showcase. Before their set, they stood around listening to the music and all of the artists going on before them. For a good 30 minutes Shay stood next to me drinking beer after beer, as I glanced his way fangirling on the inside, but too intimidated to talk to him. So for 30 minutes, I just stood there enjoying the music and processing the fact that 1/2 of Dan + Shay was next to me.

After a few hours, Dan + Shay took the stage. Not a lot of people were there for them, so it was easy to make my way to the front of the stage. With a wide smile on my face, I watched them perform. They sang their singles as well as other songs from their upcoming album. On stage, they bantered with one another, told stories, made the crowd cheer, and sang songs!

The greatest moments of the night for me were that Dan + Shay brought out Tori Kelly and serenaded her on “Somewhere Only We Know”. Eventually they started to talk about their performance to the IHeart Country  Festival and asked the crowd who was going. My friend yelled out that we weren’t going because the tickets had sold out, and they offered us tickets! My friend and I never actually got them, but it’s the thought that counts…right? The two of them continued to sing for the rest of their set. Dan sang and played guitar, and Shay impressed everyone with his runs. When their set was over, I was pretty sad, but they came out during Tori Kelly’s set along with all of the other artists that had performed that day and I got to see them again as everyone jammed out!

Overall it was an amazing experience! I was so close to them and I was able to sing along to their songs. They are entertaining performers, and every time I see videos of them or hear their songs, I quickly remember this moment!


Filed under Austin, Blog Post 4, Bro Country, Concert, Live Music

5 Responses to Dan + Shay + a Memory

  1. Timothy Harakal

    I really enjoyed reading this post! Also, that’s so crazy that you were literally right next to him for such a long while. But I totally understand that intimidation factor. I also like how you structured this post in such a way that you build the hype up, and then towards the end, the video is finally there for me to check out – and I wanted to listen by that point! I really enjoyed “Somewhere Only We Know”! I’m actually really surprised I have never heard it on the radio before. Thanks for sharing such a great song with us, and I’m excited to have learned about another great artist!

  2. Kevin Lefkowitz

    I can’t say that I’ve listened to Dan+Shay that much, but this post definitely gave me a new perspective on them. I plan on listening to their music more now that you wrote how much you liked them! It is always good when celebrities and performers are as good at the performance aspect as they are at their music or talents. It really seems like they are good people so thats also good. I’m looking forward to reading more about them in the coming months. I’m jealous that you were able to go to SXSW! Great post! I’m sure this was a great experience.

  3. Julie Kleberg

    Really enjoyed this post! It was well thought out and organized. I had never heard of Dan + Shay so it was very interesting to rad. Now I need to go check them out. Im going to have to add them to my new music list. Overall, great post

  4. Brittney Haynes

    The great thing about SXSW is that performers get that many people may not know get a chance to gain publicity. Like everyone else who commented, I’ve never heard the duo, but after watching their video in your post, I must say they sound great. I’m glad you got to have your fangirl moment! That must have been awesome. Plus you got to see Tori Kelly as well! I’m so jealous!!! But I am sorry that you didn’t get those tickets, but you’re right at least they offered! (lol) You now have great stories to tell from your college experience though!

  5. Lee Allen

    I just put Dan + Shay in a post of mine too! They’re going to be a big name in country soon, and that’s awesome that you got to see them! I wouldn’t have known who they were back then, but I’ve really come to like their sound recently. SXSW is an amazing way to discover new music, but the fact that you got to see (and stand next to ) an artist that you already loved is a much better experience, and you should feel really lucky to have gotten in! This year, I had the opportunity to see a few small artists at SXSW that I have known for a while, and it was the most fun I’ve ever had at a concert! I agree, a moment to remember! Thanks for sharing.

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