GUNNAR is probably a name you haven’t heard of – yet. The 22-year-old Californian is currently on tour with Maroon 5 and, last night, played London’s O2 Arena to an almost sold-out crowd as the band’s support act.
Although he’s a relative newcomer to the scene (he only released his debut album, Best Mistake, earlier this year) he looked adept and powerful on stage in front of 20,000 people – despite this all being very new to him.
He opened up with a rock-infused ballad that got the entire arena moving and completely broke the ice between himself and the audience.
And before long, they really were his audience.
After grabbing a guitar and joining in with his three-piece band’s musicality, it was clear to see that GUNNAR is not just a one-trick pony.
No, this kid can sing, he can dance, and – holy s**t* – he can play. Hitting his notes with perfection like a euphoric guitar hero, GUNNAR was comfortable on stage doing his thing.
When his guitarist wasn’t shredding solos during middle-eighths, GUNNAR jumped in with his own offerings that were fascinatingly impressive.
Likewise, his drummer and bassist pulled their weight – in terms of both their musical performances and stage presence.
It truly felt like GUNNAR’s entire band setup was perfect.
Somehow, the man himself made it even better.
His voice is exceedingly good, with enough roughness around the edges included to create that sublime punk-rock growl. He even started a Freddie Mercury-esque call-and-response with the crowd who were more than attentive. And it’s easy to see why.
He was more than confident; suave, sophisticated, and sultry without any sense of ego.
Watching GUNNAR was like watching Elvis Presley reincarnated, but with a modern swing. Tall, broad-shouldered, and striking to look at, it was as if the King of Rock and Roll himself had found his way back to stages – but better than ever.
GUNNAR is on tour with Maroon 5 right now.
Listen to his album, Best Mistake, here.