With soulful tunes and upbeat lyrics, Hayes grabbed several instruments during his performance by showcasing his multi-talented skill.
“This is where you get to be crazy,” said Hayes. “Go ahead and dance if you like. There’s no judgment, just be yourself.”
An atmosphere of teenage girls, parents and couples alike wore cowboy boots and Hayes letterman jackets.
Hayes and his band played every song from his new album “Encore.”
Opening up the night of entertainment was Ashley Munroe, country singer and songwriter, who sang five songs from her new 2013 album “Like A Rose.”
“Miranda Lambert is my best friend in the entire world,” said Munroe. “We rented a cabin together and wrote this song, ‘Heart Like Mine.’”
Lambert, the country singer superstar, surprised the crowd by making an appearance halfway through the son. The crowd jumped to their feet and responded with ear-shattering screams.
“Not everyone may like the country music genre,” said Vianey Gonzalez, ORU freshman. “But Hunter has a sound that is relatable to people, whether you’re into country music or not.”
Hayes asked the crowd to help him sing his No. 1 ballad “Wanted,” which recently earned Platinum status. The crowd sang his lyrics in perfect unison by heart.
“Music is the thing that God gave us to help us through a bad day,” said Hayes. “There’s nothing like listening to a song and instantly knowing someone else in world is going through the same thing you are.”
Hayes sang “Faith To Fall Back On,” a song about knowing God is still there. Pointing upwards, he gave thanks towards the end of the song.
At one point during the show, the screen projected a tour of the band touring Tulsa, which displayed ORU’s bronze praying hands sculpture.
Hayes said that his favorite way to say thank you is through a song. He thanked the men and women in service and then dedicated, “Where We Left Off,” his song that was featured on the film “Act Of Valor.”
“And to all those awkwardly single people out there,” said Hayes, while winking, “here’s a song just for you.”
Hayes played his new single “Everybody’s Got Somebody but Me,” a catchy, upbeat tune featuring Jason Mraz.
“I’m a very awkwardly shy dude,” said Hayes. “When I’m on stage, this is my home.”
Hayes said that when he’s playing music, he’s surrounded by positive energy.
During the encore, Hayes and Munroe sang a duet of “What You Gonna Do.”
Before he left, confetti filled the auditorium and a sign held by a young child in the balcony read, “Hunter be my last first kiss.”
The country star responded by blowing a kiss while he left stage.
“Music is what I breathe,” Hayes said to the crowd. “This year has been pretty crazy, but with all of your support, I’m so glad to be here and do what I love to do most: music.”