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2013 Southwest Washington Fair: Hunter Hayes Concert Met With Screams of Approval

Country Music: The 21-Year-Old Singer and Songwriter Headlines the Southwest Washington Fair

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When country-pop singer Hunter Hayes arrived on stage Saturday night at the Southwest Washington Fair, his arrival was met with hundreds of high-pitched screams as his audience, including a large contingent of teenaged girls, jumped up and down.

Hayes, 21, is known for his hits “Storm Warning, “Wanted” and “Somebody’s Heartbreak” from his self-titled album released in 2011.

“I’ve been dreaming about going on the road and making music my entire life,” Hayes told the audience Saturday night.

“This is unbelievable,” Hayes said. “This place is just packed.”

The pit beneath the stage as well as the bleachers was filled with young girls, many of whom sported cowboy boots and hats, and sang and danced to Hayes’ music throughout the concert.

“You don’t know how beautiful you are,” Hayes told his fans, a statement met with more screams.

People started to line up for his how in the early afternoon, hours before Hayes took the stage at 8 p.m.

By 6 p.m., hundreds of people waited in lines that wrapped around the fairgrounds.

One of the fans who waited in line for more than two hours was 19-year-old Meagan Shotwell. Shotwell said she flew from New Mexico to Oregon, then drove four hours from Oregon to Chehalis for Saturday’s concert. It was her third time seeing Hunter Hayes perform live.

Shotwell said she planned to see him again when he performs in Tulsa or Dallas.

Shotwell said she was an avid fan of his music, and that one time after a concert she met the teen heartthrob.

“He’s really sweet,” she said. She said she took a photo with him that was her Facebook profile picture for several months.

“I hope I get to meet him again and that this time I don’t have an asthma attack,” Shotwell said before the concert.

Two more Hayes fans, Kayla Fandrey, 18, and her friend, Tabitha Vanven, also 18, drove two hours from Gresham, Ore., for the show. Both wore matching pink shirts with the country singer’s name.

“I’m so excited,” Kayla said before the concert. “I love the concert feel.”

They weren’t the only ones dressed up for the concert. Another group of about six young girls sported matching homemade, ripped and bedazzled shirts that said “Wanted by Hunter Hayes.”

Many others held up signs that declared their love for the 21-year-old singer.

Hayes sings all the vocals and plays all of the nearly 30 instruments heard on his album. He also co-produced and wrote or co-wrote all of his songs. He wont best New Artist of the Year at the 2012 Country Music Awards, and was nominated for three Grammy’s, including best new artist.

Total attendance figures will be released this week.

By Stephanie Schendel / sschendel@chronline.com 

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