NASHVILLE country music duo Dan + Shay flew across the Atlantic to perform in Manchester for the first time on Sunday (September 18) night as part of their four-date UK tour.
Dan Smyers, 29, and Shay Mooney, 24, decided to take on a UK tour after extended pleas from their legion of British fans, who in turn managed to help completely sell out each show in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London.
The duo formed in 2012 having met through mutual friends and instantly started writing music together.
Dan + Shay have since released a debut album entitled ‘Where It All Began’ in 2014 and their latest album ‘Obsessed’ was released on June 3 of this year.
Joining the country duo on their UK tour were the Pauper Kings, a four-piece country band born and bred in York, UK.
The band consists of four young males, Tim McKay, Nick Miller, Jack Bird and Henry Bird, with Tim as the lead vocalist and the others playing guitars and a box drum.
Rising in the UK country scene, the band are yet to release an official album but have been travelling back and forth to Nashville to write many of the songs which they shared in their set.
Hey Manchester, tonight is going to be wild. @DeafInstitute might be the coolest venue of all time! ?
— Dan + Shay (@DanAndShay) September 18, 2016
The band began with an upbeat song named ‘Friday Night’ which featured a few typicality’s of the country genre.
Main singer, Tim, showed off his very deep tone which worked very well with the boys harmonising together.
Pauper Kings delivered a range of fast and slow paced songs as well as original material and covers.
When asking the crowd if they were fans of the Dixie Chicks, to which many country lovers screamed wildly, they followed by covering their song ‘Some Days You Gotta Dance’.
The four boys also shared a special song with the crowd which they wrote the day after the recent Orlando shootings as a positive and uplifting song to “share the love.”
After a short wait, with Taylor Swift’s music playing to keep everyone countrified, Dan + Shay graced the small stage to around 250 people inside The Deaf Institute.
They decided not to bring their band to the UK with them, meaning the performance would be more acoustic which was interesting as many have only previously heard the songs from the album with a band.
Prior to their UK tour, the duo announced on Twitter that for each venue they would deliver a different set list which was quite unique and meant that fans could request any songs that they particularly wanted to hear.
Gonna do a different set list every night of this UK Tour. Any requests for tonight in Glasgow? ??
— Dan + Shay (@DanAndShay) September 16, 2016
In Manchester, they began with the single ‘What You Do To Me’ taken from their debut album which seemed to be very popular with the crowd as they sang along in unison.
When the first song ended, Dan + Shay immediately began to interact with their fans and this intimacy carried on throughout the entire show.
This was very humbling to watch and it was clear that they are incredibly appreciative of their fans.
They then sang another song from their debut album named ‘Show You Off’ which got the audience clapping along as they raised their voices to the chorus.
Smyers admitted that it was a “dream come true” hearing people all the way from the UK sing the words to their songs back to them.
The positive vibe in the room made Mooney ask if we “wanted to party” which was then followed by the duo doing a cover of R.Kelly’s hit ‘Ignition’.
You would have never expected to hear a country version of this song but it happened and it was great!
To promote their latest album ‘Obsessed’, Dan + Shay sang a selection of songs such as ‘How Not To’, ‘All Nighter’, ‘Already Ready’ and their very personal song ‘From The Ground Up’.
This song was probably the best performance by both the duo and also the crowd as Mooney took out his phone to film everyone singing the chorus.
— Dan + Shay (@DanAndShay) September 18, 2016
Smyers soon addressed that he thinks people in the UK “really love music for what it is.”
The duo also performed their debut single ’19 You + Me’ which became platinum certified in the US as well as their first number one song ‘Nothin’ Like You’ and the catchy ‘Stop Drop + Roll’ which really got people dancing.
Dan + Shay also opted to cover the popular Ed Sheeran song ‘We Found Love’ which featured some impeccable harmonies.
Their performances throughout the night showed that the duo’s voices sound exactly the same live, if not better, than on their album.
Mooney also added in some very impressive falsettos to show off his vocal range to those who turned out.
As someone who had never really listened to country music before, this was a very entertaining show and I do not doubt that Dan + Shay will be back as their first UK tour seemed to be a roaring success.
By Phoebe Jobling