Gavin DeGraw doesn’t want to be anywhere but the GMC

COURTESY // Brennan Spark

American musician and singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw gave an outstanding performance on Sunday at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. Degraw opened the show by singing one of his top hits “Chariot.” One could feel DeGraw’s enthusiastic energy as he sang.  

Degraw serenaded one of the audience members right off the bat and set the vibe for the rest of the night. The room was filled with positive energy. 

“Hearing his music puts me in such a good mood but hearing him live, wow,” saidJessica Mayer, a senior and nursing student at Sonoma State University.

At the beginning of the night there was a small group of people dancing in the lawn area, but as the night progressed, the group grew bigger and bigger. At one point almost half of the people on the lawn were standing. 

DeGraw even went on to sing some songs from his new album that included his new single “She Sets The City on Fire.” The crowd seemed to enjoy his new music, but they went wild when he started covering some songs from other artists, such as “Let it go” by James Bay and “Ride” by Twenty One Pilots.

DeGraw created such a great atmosphere,  putting everyone in a good mood. He went on to perform and serenade more people in the audience. 

At one point, DeGraw got off-stage and walked all the way back to the lawn area to sing to the people who had been dancing, and stayed there for a while as he continued to sing his song. 

“He was so into his music, it just shows what an amazing artist he is,” said Kristina Medina, a junior at Sonoma State. “I’m so glad I was able to see him perform live.” 

To make the crowd feel more included, or as DeGraw put it “feel more campfirey,” he did a couple acoustic versions of his songs. 

In-between songs he would share some commentary about his experiences touring in different countries and give background about his songs. One was able to see his personality by the way he performed. 

“The fact that he was so engaging with the audience made it very memorable and I really liked that, because not many artists can do that,” said Julianna Ponce, a senior and nursing student at Sonoma State.  

Towards the end of the show, DeGraw paid tribute to all soldiers in the crowd by singing one of his well-known songs “Solider.” 

He mentioned that he wanted to write a song that portrayed appreciation for all the sacrifices soldiers make, but the song wouldn’t do their service any justice. 

Before he played the song, DeGraw clarified what he meant by his use of the word “soldier.” He stated that everyone in the crowd was a soldier because we’ve all made sacrifices and have gone above and beyond to help out a certain person, and that’s what he considers a solider to be.


DeGraw shared with the audience after playing his last song how much it meant to be here on the 15 year anniversary of 9/11. He was in New York when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, and being here performing was very therapeutic for him.