Rascal Flatts, Dan + Shay bridge generations

Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney, Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox perform at the iHeartCountry Festival at the Frank Erwin Center May 6 in Austin. | Associated Press

By Brooke Hill | News Editor

On Saturday night, fans young and old filled the Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas to see Trent Harmon, Dan + Shay and Rascal Flatts.

The crowd became more energized with each performer who set foot onstage.

Trent Harmon set the tone for the night, getting the crowd excited with songs like “There’s a Girl” and “Her.”

But the best part of the night by far was when Dan + Shay graced the crowd with their voices. The duo can harmonize like no other and they somehow manage to sound even better live than on the radio. They opened with throwback hit “19 you + me” before going on to perform singles from their new album, such as “Alone Together,” “All to Myself” and “Speechless.” They even broke up their songs with a big dance party in the middle of the performance with their cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

The most magical moment of the night was in the middle of the song “Speechless,” when the crowd turned on their cell phone lights to light up the arena and Dan + Shay sang a capella.

It was clear that Dan + Shay appealed more to a younger audience, as none of the older crowd members bothered to even stand up while the duo was performing. However, the energy of the younger attendees more than compensated for the older crowd’s lack of interest. There wasn’t a moment throughout the whole set where someone wasn’t screaming about how beautiful the duo sounded.

Once Rascal Flatts came out onstage, everyone in the arena was on their feet. Rascal Flatts seems to be one of those bands that, even when you think you don’t know the song, once the chorus comes along everyone can join in. The band played new hits such as “Yours if You Want It” and “I Like the Sound of That,” which opener Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay wrote.

Not too far into the set, the band stopped playing and started telling the crowd not to let the negative events going on in society stop them from having hope. The speech turned it into a mini-sermon by stating that Jesus is the only perfect human to have ever walked the Earth, suggesting that that should relieve the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect. This was a weird pause in the concert, as people joked that the concert had stopped and church had started. The speaker had a earpiece microphone and was pacing the stage while talking. It was an awkward pause.

Ironically, they followed the speech with sad songs like “Here Comes Goodbye” and “What Hurts the Most.”

To get the energy going again, the band covered Zedd’s “The Middle,” which got everyone back on their feet and dancing.

The night was filled with ballads and pop songs alike, leaving the audience with a sense of appreciation for the way the different performers weaved together their specific styles of vocals and music for an unforgettable show.