‘Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat’ at Wolf Trap by Julia L. Exline

On Saturday, June 9, 2012, I had the pleasure of seeing Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat perform at Wolf Trap. With their fun energy and optimistic beats, this was a perfect event to start out the summer!

The first thing that I noticed at this show was that, besides the expected waves of twenty-something-year-old girls, there were also children – A LOT of them, and aged as low as toddling tots. I was a bit surprised at this (I mean, this duo is lighthearted, yes, but they are no Wiggles) but any anxiety the parents may have had was wasted – these two managed to put on a highly entertaining without using an ounce of profanity. Fedoras (which Gavin are known to wear often) also speckled the crowd every few feet. Coincidence?

Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Colbie took the stage first, which had been strung with large paper lanterns and twinkle lights that changed colors. The effect was girly and pleasant, much like her, who stepped out in a sweet yellow sundress, dangly earrings, and summery ponytail. Her lively songs had people dancing and clapping along, such as “I Do,” which has become a popular engagement and wedding song. During her hit song “Brighter Than The Sun,” she danced with her band members (a whopping six of them total) and lights swept the stage in a whirl of color. I began to wonder what onstage DIDN’T have a circuit, as even the innocent-looking paper lanterns lit up with a dewy glow. She went on to sing songs like her debut single “Bubbly,” and hits “Realize” and “Lucky,” among others. The one song that stood out as a little edgy was “Shadow,” which was about how it is better to be on your own than with a person who does not treat you right. Upbeat and fun, she left the crowd in a cheerful mood.

When I came back from intermission, a souvenir T-shirt in one hand and a hot dog in the other, I saw that the stage had been completely transformed. A large piano and drum set sat on raised platforms, behind which blazed a larger-than-life ‘Gavin DeGraw’ logo — his name encircled by piano keys. The stage glowed blood red and fog billowed across it as he stepped onstage to deafening screams, diving right into his new hit song, “Sweeter.” Wearing a suit, thin black tie, and a hat, he looked every bit the pop-rock prince (an easily earned title, as the majority of his songs are the romantic, swooning kind).

While I’m a big fan of his work, one thing that I did not know about Gavin Degraw before seeing him live was that this man is FUN. He danced his way around the stage using silly, playful moves that almost hinted at a game of charades (could he have picked up some of these during his stint on the reality TV competition Dancing with the Stars?) and teased the audience as if each one of them were a close friend. Kneeling towards the front row, he playfully asks someone, “That’s your husband? – I don’t care. Has he been on the Tonight Show twenty-six times?” Then, saying, “I had no idea that this song would change my life…and then it did,” Gavin sung his biggest hit “I Don’t Wanna Be,” and the crowd went nuts. The vibrations reverberated through the whole crowd, running up your chest and down to your fingertips. After that jolt of energy, he softened up the mood a little by singing the gentle hit “Follow Through.”

But then it was back to the fun. The forceful hit “Chemical Party” was accompanied by a lively air guitar performance, after which he walked into the frenzied crowd, reaching out and high-fiving his fans. Extremely charismatic, he encouraged us to sing along, saying with a wicked grin, “I love it when you sing to me.” Like Colbie, Gavin stuck mainly to his hit songs, quipping, “this has nothing to do with my ex-girlfriend” before ending his show with another recent hit, “Not Over You.” He thanked the audience often and profusely (once even singing it), and in an incredibly sweet and rare gesture, he came back onstage while people were leaving to sign autographs and take pictures with his fans. Once people realized this was happening, I nearly got trampled as frantic women stampeded their way back to the stage.

Good music makes a good show, but the obvious bond and love that Gavin showed towards his fans made it a GREAT show. Talented, handsome, and, okay, maybe a bit of a nut, I enjoyed every second watching him, and Miss Caillat complimented him wonderfully.

Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat performed on June 9th, 2012 at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts –  1551 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA.  Click here to view upcoming events at Wolf Trap. Click here to view the remaining dates and locations of Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat’s 2012 Summer Tour.


Gavin DeGraw’s website.

Colbie Caillat’s website.



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