Parker McCollum: a new country artist with the same old sound

Parker McCollum is a country music artist from Austin, Texas. McCollum played a show at Rick’s Cafe this past Wednesday, and the crowd was filled with those who were both familiar with and new to the up-and-coming country singer’s music.

Parker McCollum, an up-and-coming country music singer from Austin, Texas, performed on the Rick's Café stage in Starkville Wednesday night.

Every concert I have been to has always started slightly off-schedule due to the artist wanting to create buzz and make the crowd excited for the show, but having an artist come on 45 minutes later than expected is nothing but annoying.

Once McCollum finally took the stage, the crowd lit up with excitement, but his opening song must not have been a major hit as not many people knew the words enough to sing along. 

I had not heard of McCollum before the show, so I was not familiar with the songs McCollum sang. However, in my opinion, they all sounded the same. Every song had the same instrumental sound, attitude and overall lyrical pattern. This did not bother me for the first three songs, but after a while, I got bored.

"If this ain't a Wednesday night, I don't know what is, Starkville, Mississippi," McCollum shouted into the crowd of loyal and intoxicated fans. 

The set, which consisted of all original songs written by Parker McCollum, became repetitive after a while. 

However, no matter how repetitive the setlist was, it is no secret that McCollum is talented. His passion he has for music and his songs seeped out of McCollum throughout the entire performance.

Mason Ferrell, a senior industrial technology major and a long-time Parker McCollum fan, introduced his friends to the new, country artist. 

"Parker McCollum is the best up-and-coming country artist I know," Ferrell said.

When McCollum sang a hit song, it was obvious due to the uproar of proud fans in the crowd.

"I guess I will get drunk in Starkville, Mississippi tonight," said McCollum before singing another hit single. 

Having musical talent is not enough to put on a good show; having an electric personality and being able to engage the crowd is just as important, and McCollum had an amazing stage presence. 

From speaking to the crowd during and in between songs, to little things such as stopping mid-song to take a drink with the audience, McCollum knew the importance of engaging his crowd and succeed at working the crowd.

Towards the middle of the show, McCollum announced he met an amazing lady at dinner. 

"I was at dinner, and I met this amazing lady whose birthday is tonight. So, everyone wish Mrs. Bush a Happy Birthday, y'all," McCollum said. 

Small interactions like this are what make a good performer and creates a special bond with fans, which is positive in my opinion.

McCollum decided that the crowd was warmed up enough to hear a new song, so he debuted his first new single of the night, which, to no surprise, sounded almost identical to the majority of his other singles.

From telling jokes in between songs to relating to the crowd by saying "I feel pretty good, I have been drinking all day," it is no surprise McCollum has such a strong college student following.

As a Texas native, McCollum connected with the audience even more as he shared his negative opinions on his home state's professional baseball team and how he was glad to not be in Houston, creating a bond with other Texans in the crowd.

More songs and more drinks later, the country artist debuted another new single. 

"I was in Nashville and I couldn't finish this song, so I asked my buddy Rhett Akins, I don't know if y'all know him, and he said I have to sing this song in Starkville, Mississippi. So, here is my new song 'To be Loved by You,'" McCollum said. 

All in all, McCollum's passion and love for music is no secret, and it shines through his performance, but from an outsider's perspective, the songs were just okay. 

There was no "wow" factor in my opinion, and the lyrics and sound were just like any other country song heard on the radio.

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