Contemporary country artist Hunter Hayes brought the second leg of his Red Sky Tour to Indianapolis this past Friday. I am absolutely ecstatic any chance I get to attend an event at the 500-capacity Deluxe Room inside the Old National Center, and this night was not any different. Hunter’s debut self-titled album was actually the first CD I ever purchased at the ripe age of 10. As an avid pop, rock, and alternative music fan, I have said for the past decade that I inherently dislike country music, unless we are talking about Hunter Hayes. The nostalgia that I felt within my soul the entire night felt like healing part of my inner child, in a way.
Hunter Hayes originates from Louisiana, where he began singing at the age of 2. At age 7, the quickly rising talent was invited by Bill Clinton, the president at the time, to perform at the White House. Shortly after co-writing the song “Play” for Rascal Flatt’s album, Nothing Like This, Hayes released his debut record under Castle Recording Studios in 2011. The second single from the album, "Wanted”, became the singer’s first number one, making him the youngest solo male country act to top Hot Country songs since 1973.
The 31-year-old artist released his sophomore album, Storyline, three years later, in 2014. In an effort to promote the album as well as raise awareness to end child hunger, Hunter broke the Guinness World Record for most concerts played in multiple cities in 24 hours. He has continued on to release three more full-length albums and to win multiple awards, including the People’s Choice Favorite Male Country Artist in 2015.
The environment for the evening felt nothing but safe and welcoming, with every fan in the room seemingly knowing that everyone was there to have fun and take care of each other. Right on time, Hunter graced the stage, and the heavy anticipation that previously filled the air dispersed. The set began with “High Tide”, the opening track of the 2023 release and namesake of the tour, Red Sky.
Before the performance of the emotional fan favorite, “Invisible”, the singer gave the crowd a beautiful, tear-jerking speech about the importance of knowing that you are never alone. The feeling and passion that poured out of him during this performance solidified it as my favorite part of the show.
After the performances of many of his lesser-known tracks, Hunter was sure to close everything out with songs that no one in the room couldn't help but to sing to. These included “I Want Crazy”, “Storm Warning”, and “Wanted”. I had an incredible night attending the Red Sky: Continued Tour, and if you are looking for a fun evening full of modern, rock-influenced country, this tour is for you. The remaining dates of the North America Tour are listed below.