The fall semester at Penn State started off with a bang Friday night as fans packed Levels Nightclub in State College to see one of country music’s newest stars.
Georgia native Kip Moore rocked the venue with his own style of hard-driving country rock. Moore not only rocked with his music but he also rocked the entire club, as this particular audience was not your average concert crowd. It was very apparent that the PSU fall semester was in full swing, as Levels was made up of mostly younger concert-goers.
The rising star performed songs from his debut album “Up All Night,” including the smash country hits “Somethin’ ’Bout a Truck,” “Beer Money” and “Hey Pretty Girl.” Not only have all three singles soared to No. 1 on the country chart, but they have also become hits on the pop chart.
There is no doubt country music has changed over the past decade or so. Moore seems to define this change of direction in the overall sound of the music. I could hear a number of influences in his music, including the rock and roll grit of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. He still stays true to country music’s roots, with a twang in his voice reminiscent of Merle Haggard or George Jones.
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Being that it was in a nightclub, I could understand why the college crowd would make up the majority of the audience, but I was amazed at how many younger people are fans of country music. I was also impressed with the following that Moore has gained in such a short time. It wasn’t long before the entire club was rocking out and singing along to his songs.
I have to say, this particular venue was a rather unique setting for a musical performance. I expected the show to start on time or within a reasonable range of the advertised start time of 7 p.m. The opening act finally took the stage around 8:30 p.m. I also was disappointed because I was not able to see Moore or his band, having to stand on my toes or push through the crowd to get a decent view.
The venue was, after all, a nightclub and this is what the young crowd seems to be into. But I would have enjoyed the show more if I saw Moore perform in a more sterile, toned-down, intimate setting such as the State Theatre, where I could have any seat in the house and enjoy his performance and music to the fullest.