Soulful Singer Comes to Waco

Sean McConnell performs at 7 p.m. today at the Waco Hippodrome Theatre, 724 Austin Ave. Tickets are available at for $12. Orchestra seats are sold out, but stadium- style seating is still available on the balcony level. Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

Sean McConnell performs at 7 p.m. at the historic Hippodrome Theatre, showcasing a musical style that he describes as “singer-songwriter Americana soul.”

Fans of the singer can expect to hear new music that McConnell has written in the past few weeks. He said he’s especially excited for those attending the show to hear “From the Wrong Side of Town” and “Greetings from Niagara Falls,” which have not yet been released on any album.

McConnell said his love for music started when he was a child growing up with parents who were also folk singers. He described a childhood home where musicians were constantly coming in and out, and his parents were always writing songs or performing.

“I saw that from a young age and got bit by the bug very early on,” McConnell said. “My parents are definitely the biggest influence on me musically.”

Backed by a supportive family, McConnell released his first album when he was only 15 years old. According to his website, he has released eight albums since then and gained a loyal following.

McConnell said he makes a habit of visiting the merchandise table at the end of his shows because it gives him a chance to interact with his fans.

“Most everyone I meet is super kind,” McConnell said. “It’s a singer-songwriter-based show, so I feel like it makes for good conversations, and people have a lot of questions about the music.”

One of those fans is Vernon senior Sarah Borchardt, who first discovered McConnell’s music when his song “Novocaine” popped up on a playlist she was listening to freshman year.

“I like his music because it’s folky, and he sings with a lot of soul,” Borchardt said. “I went to his page and listened to the rest of his songs, and now I love him.”

Borchardt said she was disappointed that she won’t be able to attend tonight’s concert because she’s participating in All-University Sing. However, she might get another chance soon.

According to McConnell, Waco is a regular stop for him when he’s touring. He’s performed at Common Grounds and the Backyard Bar and Grill before, and said he plans on returning.

Tonight will be McConnell’s first performance at the Hippodrome, but the theater’s general manager, Mark Gillham, said they would love to have him back again.

“We’ve been trying to get Sean in here for a while,” Gillham said. “He’s one of the guys we’ve had on our radar.”

Gillham said he first heard about McConnell’s popularity with Baylor students when a friend of his raved about his concert last year at Common Grounds.

According to Gillham, the Hippodrome is not only a great spot to see movies, but also includes a restaurant, wedding venue and location for concerts like McConnell’s.

“We’re just trying to expand our horizons a little,” Gillham said. “We want to pull some students in here and show them what we can do.”