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Graham Colton Band
Live Review

Where: Palace Theater, Columbus, Ohio
When: April 11, 2005
With: Kelly Clarkson

I will confess - I hadn't heard of this band from Texas before learning they were the opening act for Kelly Clarkson. But this talented group of guys quickly won me over.

Though new to me... this band is no stranger to the road. They've toured with some of the hottest bands (Counting Crowes John Mayer, Maroon 5, Train, and Dave Matthews). Their experience has paid off. This is a band that knows how to kick a crowd into high gear with a rock-solid performance!

Lead singer/ songwriter/ guitarist Graham Colton has a stage presence reminiscent of a 60's teen idol. He just oozes that clean-cut charm that every mother would love. He also wasn't afraid to get the crowd on their feet early into the set... and managed to keep them there throughout. Not an easy feat in Columbus - let me tell ya!

Graham and fellow bandmates, (drummer Jordan Elder, bassist Ryan Tallent, guitarist Aben Eubanks, and pianist John Lancaster) treated the audience to songs from their CD, "Drive". With catchy melodies, their music is very easy to listen to. They sound familiar in a very comfortable way. Like slipping into your favorite PJ's. "First Week" talks of the blissful first week of a new relationship... before it sours. "Cut", as Graham explains it, is a flash back to the happy times of high school: days of riding around with your friends without a care in the world. "Killing Me" brings out an Oasis type flavor to their sound - which isn't lost on the band.. as they end with a line from "Champagne Supernova".

The band closed their too-brief set with "Cigarette" - complete with a disclaimer by Graham that he doesn't smoke, never smoked, etc. Although lost on me (I know, I know - smoking is going to stunt my growth...) - the crowd was young, so....ok.

Over all I was impressed by the songs, the musical chops of the band, as well as Graham's rapport with the crowd. He just has "it". I'm sure there are a lot of girls that went home tonight and fell asleep dreaming of this guy! I was so impressed I headed to the lobby after their set to purchase their CD. And no - it wasn't to be part of the "meet the band" offer that Graham announced on stage. (The first 50 people to purchase a CD were treated to a "Meet and Greet" with the guys after the show.) Although it is a brilliant marketing move... maybe they should have waited until after their set before announcing it. The girls in the crowd went running out to the lobby before the guys were done playing.

I'm eager to dive into this CD and to learn more about this band. (How have I not heard of them before??????)