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Thread: [May 2 2013] Bloomington, IL - Cellular Coliseum

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    [May 2 2013] Bloomington, IL - Cellular Coliseum

    Start time: 7:30pm
    Opening act: Hunter Hayes
    Tickets are $43.50/$53.50/$63.50

    Calendar Of Events | Carrie Underwood Quot Blown Away Tour Quot

    Venue is Sold Out.
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    Ally Hieb ⚽ ‏@allyhieb7 52s Carrie Underwood tomorrow with my best friend @Sara_Verda #soexcited #finally
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    Dillllpicklezzzz ‏@andreaa_dillman 2m Canttt wait for the Carrie Underwood concert tomorrow! #wcw
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    Keira Kelly ‏@keiraa_kelly 3m So excited for Carrie Underwood & Hunter Hayes tomorrow with @alexandra_bogee and @alex_vanhoof!!
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    Carried away: Hunter Hayes happily swept along by Underwood’s Blown Away Tour

    For The Pantagraph Hunter Hayes, opening Carrie Underwood’s sold-out U.S. Cellular Coliseum show tonight, began playing at age 2. At 21, he’s the Country Music Association’s Best New Artist for 2012.

    3 hours ago • By Dan Craft dcraft@pantagraph.com

    Time waits for no one, least of all Hunter Hayes, who left time at the starting gate way back.

    At 2, he was playing his first instrument.

    At 4, he was on stage jamming with Hank Jr.

    At 6, he was co-starring with Robert Duvall in “The Apostle.”

    At 9, he was fronting his own band and releasing his first album.

    At 13, he was competing on “America’s Most Talented Kids.”

    At 16, he was en route to Nashville.

    At 18, he was co-writing for Rascal Flatts (“Play” on the “Nothing Like This” album)

    At 20, he was chalking up his own No. 1 hit (“Wanted”), staring down three Grammy nominations and being named the Country Music Association Awards’ New Artist of the Year (2012).

    At 21, he’s in his ninth month of being swept along by Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away Tour,” for which he’s the highly (reports say) female-pleasing opening gust, er, guest.

    Unless you already have a ticket in hand, you won’t be feeling any of the predicted gale force at tonight’s U.S. Cellular Coliseum show: It’s long sold out.

    A good place to be, to say the least.

    “We’re just chillin’ on the tour bus right next to the venue where we play tonight,” reports Hayes from the road.

    The road has led to San Antonio; it will soon wind into Hayes’ home turf of Louisiana, where he arrived in swaddling clothes Sept. 9, 1991, ready to out-lap time at the first opportunity.

    The late-April show — in the Lafayette, La., Cajundome — marks his first homecoming in two years … “not by choice,” he adds.

    But stuff and careers happen.

    The impending return conjures a rush of warm nostalgia.

    “There was always a Saturday night show once a month, kind of an opry… the Rice Theater …. I played there a ton as a kid, and headlined a couple times. I have a longer history with the Rice than any other venue.”

    Though it may seem odd for someone who’s only 21 to be talking about long histories and golden memories, it needs to be restated that Hayes was mastering the accordion at age 2.

    Two years later, he was on stage before thousands at Country Fest ’97, performing on that same accordion, or something close, with Hank Williams Jr. on Hank Sr.’s “Jambalaya.”

    The proof, which aired over The Nashville Network, can be easily Googled.

    The tow-headed kid, all of 4, looks like a cross between Dennis the Menace (sans the Menace) and one of the Littler Rascals.

    He sings. He solos on the accordion. He harmonizes with Hank Jr.

    “Is that me?” Hayes asked himself after viewing the video evidence years later.

    “I remember … elements of the day,” he says now.

    So how does a 4-year-old get on stage with Hank Jr. at one of the year’s biggest country music affairs?
    “I met him through a friend of a friend.”

    The FOAF ran a bed-and-breakfast in Hayes’ hometown and had catered some of Hank’s shows.

    At one such event, tiny Hunter found himself “heading backstage, along with some of his Cajun food, to meet Hank.”
    The moppet’s accordion was in hand, natch.

    “Several months later,” he was wielding it before tens of thousands on that Country Fest ’97 stage.

    “I guess I knew he was famous, and I could appreciate that,” Hayes says. “The best thing about doing something like that at 4 is that you’re too young to really know what’s happening,” he says.

    So if he’d realized the occasion’s enormity, might he have turned tail and run? Seems doubtful, judging from the rapid acceleration that occurred fast on the heels of “Jambalaya.”

    In a few years, he found himself being directed by and co-starring with Robert Duvall in his movie “The Apostle,” shot in Louisiana.

    Duvall was so taken with the youth’s talent that he bequeathed him his first guitar, which marked Hayes’ transition from accordion to his preferred instrument.

    “It’s been an incredible adventure, that’s the only way to sum up what’s happened, then and now … a musical journey that continues and never ends.”

    Being an only child accounts for some the miles logged in so short a time. But the drive to do it all himself, from mastering multiple instruments to writing his own songs to recording his own albums, comes from somewhere deeper down.

    “I’m a geek, a total nerd … totally shy and awkward,” insists the geek who routinely turns the female sector of his fan base into throngs of frenzy and is young enough to have been named the Teen Choice Awards’ Favorite Male Country Artist for 2012.

    “I’m being totally honest,” he says, noting that his teen years were spent largely in isolation, working on his music at the expense of an active social life, extracurricular activities and rituals like the prom.

    “I didn’t come out of my room for years,” he half-jokingly notes, referring to the homemade recording studio he rigged at home.
    Shy, geek or nerd … one thing is certain: the combo has paid off.

    With only a single non-indie album under his belt, his self-titled 2011 debut on the Atlantic Nashville label, he’s racked up a quartet of Top 15 singles (“Storm Warning,” the No. 1-scoring “Wanted,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” “I Want Crazy”), amassed an armful of awards (see accompanying chart) and landed on the A-list tours of not only Underwood, but Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts.

    And yet: “There’s so much more to be learned, and you can’t learn any better way than opening for people like these.”

    ------------------------------------------------------

    At a glance

    What: Carrie Underwood and Hunter Hayes
    When: 7:30 tonight
    Where: U.S. Cellular Coliseum. 101 S. Madison St., Bloomington
    Tickets: $43.50 to $63.50 (sold out)
    Box office: 800-745-3000

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Honors roll

    Between just the two of them, 30-year-old Carrie Underwood and 21-year-old Hunter Hayes have amassed a boatload of awards and nominations. Here’s the partial scorecard:

    Carrie (over a seven-year major label career):

    Academy of Country Music Awards: 10 wins out of 21 nominations

    American Idol: Fourth season champ

    American Country Music Awards: 11 wins out of 14 nominations

    American Music Awards: 7 wins out of 11 nominations

    Country Music Association Awards: 5 wins out of 15 nominations

    Country Music Television (CMT) Awards: 10 wins out of 18 nominations

    Grammy Awards: 6 wins out of 10 nominations

    People’s Choice Awards: 6 wins out of 13 nominations

    Hunter (over a two-year major label career)

    Academy of Country Music Awards: 5 nominations

    American Country Music Awards: 2 wins out of 3 nominations

    Billboard Music Awards: 2 nominations (pending; awards show is May 19)

    Country Music Association Awards: 1 win

    Country Music Television (CMT) Awards: 1 nomination

    Grammy Awards: 3 nominations

    Teen Choice Awards: 1 win out of two nominations

    Carried away: Hunter Hayes happily swept along by Underwood?s Blown Away Tour

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    U.S.CellularColiseum ‏@USCCBloomington 8h IT'S SHOW DAY!! Who is coming to see Carrie Underwood and Hunter Hayes tonight? #carrieunderwood, #hunterhayes,... http://fb.me/2wVU4sX8m
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    U.S.CellularColiseum ‏@USCCBloomington 1h Who is getting excited for tonight??? Don't forget when you get to the building to "check in" on Facebook, we... http://fb.me/2msQnIyuy
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    Carliee Gillis ‏@carliee_gillis 1m so excited to see my baby hunter hayes and Carrie underwood tonight ����
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    Tricia Powell ‏@TriciaPowell1 55s Getting free last minute tickets to Carrie Underwood & Hunter Hayes for tonight>>> @SW3ET_CAROLiNE @ColleenBesler ��������
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    Lisa Paloian ‏@lisaadanielle19 31s At the u.s. cellular coliseum to see the beautiful and talented @carrieunderwood with my best friend @twitterlesskatie!!!!!!! #Excited
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    alex falk ‏@alexx_falk23 32s hunter hayes and carrie underwood with my biffy�� http://instagram.com/p/Y1B-qVD64s/
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    Abby Bender ‏@abby_bender7 1m CARRIE UNDERWOOD & HUNTER HAYES WITH MY BEST FRIEND!! ������ @sarahfennelly_ http://instagram.com/p/Y1B8YfI0t8/
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    Stolfa's Pizza ‏@Stolfaspizza1 2m We are open untill 10 tonight because we are catering for Carrie Underwood's after party!! Ovens are fired up and... http://fb.me/2geM8FEiq
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