Colbie Caillat introduces pop to the River Campus

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Colbie Caillat opens her concert Saturday night at Bedell Performance Hall. (Fred Lynch)

California surfer girl turned Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat performed the first pop concert at Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus on Saturday night.

After Caillat's band member of several years, Justin Long, opened the show with a few of his own songs and a Bob Marley cover, Caillat took the stage, performing several of her hits, including "Realize." Later in the show, Caillat and Long serenaded one another with "Turn Your Lights Down Low," a cover of a song by Marley and Lauryn Hill, both of whom Caillat has said have influenced her music.

Several songs were performed with her band, while others were just Caillat and her guitar, alone on stage. One song with the band ended with Caillat playing maracas.

Between songs, the singer addressed the crowd often, and for the first time answered questions from the audience out of a book passed around the theater before the concert began. One audience member wanted to know if the singer had any tattoos. Another wanted to hear about her musical influences.

Mary Ann Galemmo brought her daughter, Alli, to the concert, along with a friend, Kim Daniel, who also brought her daughters, Maci and Tess, and a friend, Chandler Short.

The group decided to attend the concert at the last minute, Galemmo said, and they were glad tickets were still available. They were supposed to be in Memphis, Tenn., for a soccer tournament, but it was canceled because of weather.

"We love her; we listen to her all the time," Galemmo said.

Caillat told the crowd she had friends in the audience, and dedicated one of her songs, "Fearless," from her latest album to them.

Caillat may be even more popular by the time she returns to the Midwest after a tour in the Northeast. When she leaves Cape Girardeau, the singer will head northeast next week to play four shows in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York. On May 1, she will be in Memphis, Tenn., playing the Beale Street Music Festival before taking a break to work on her next album, which is scheduled to debut by the end of the year. Caillat begins a tour with Southeast Missouri native Sheryl Crow in June. One of those concert dates, near Chicago, sold out in one day.

Caillat will return to Missouri again after performing in the Lilith Fair tour when she opens for Crow on Aug. 21 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo.

Caillat visited Cape Girardeau at the request of students of Southeast Missouri State University. The school's Student Activities Council held an online poll to find out which musicians they should try to bring in for a concert.

According to box office officials, 578 people attended the concert.

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