TAMPA — "I know the crowd is slim, but that doesn't mean you can't get rowdy!" Oh, Gavin DeGraw tried. He really did. But the chart-topping singer, the rare hip happening pop star at the Republican National Convention this week, didn't have much to work with at the Dallas Bull on Tuesday.
In town to headline a benefit for Musicians on Call, a nonpartisan group that brings singers to the bedsides of injured military and related infirm, the 35-year-old played a fun, loose hourlong set for a gaggle no bigger than the Rhode Island delegation.
Backed by a four-piece band — including, on guitar, Seminole's own Billy Norris, a prodigious alum of the Tampa Bay Times no less — DeGraw good-naturedly worked through his lovesick hits, including I Don't Want to Be, Follow Through and that sing-along special Chariot. Dude could have phoned it in — and really, who could have blamed him?
The convention did run extra long Tuesday night, so maybe that explains the slim crowd? As DeGraw pounded out his final song, Not Over You, there were people still trickling in the door — but alas, just a trickle. Too bad. DeGraw can play, and he injected relevance into the week's musical lineup. Plus he was on Dancing With the Stars — doesn't that account for anything these days?
Oh well. I think the Oak Ridge Boys are playing this week. Maybe they'll have better luck.
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.