Hunter Hayes/ Star Tribune photos by Carlos Gonzalez

For a theater show, Hunter Hayes sure had a big production at the Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday. A multi-level stage, ramps, clever lighting patterns, bubble machines and a very tall live video screen.

As indicated in my review, the newcomer sure knows how to work a crowd. He’ll do it again Thursday at the Orpheum and maybe that audience will get a different cover or two. (By the way, Kansas City is the only other place on his Let’s Be Crazy Tour where he’s doing two shows.) Otherwise, he did all 17 songs from the “Encore” edition of his debut album.

For some reason, opening act Ashley Monroe didn’t join him for the encore of “What You Gonna Do,” which she did in other cities and does on the “Encore” disc.

I’m a big fan of her music (her solo album and the Pistols Annies disc – she’s a member of the trio – are among my fave country albums of 2013). But frankly, her sound is too old-school country and her lyrics too hip and, um, mature for Hayes’ tween- and teen-dominated audience.

Maybe Cassadee Pope or Danielle Bradbery (who is on tour with Brad Paisley) would have been a more fitting opening act.

Here is Hayes’ set list from Wednesday:

Storm Warning/ Can’t Say Love/ Faith To Fall Back On/ Rainy Season/ Somebody’s Heartbreak/ A Thing About You/ Love Makes Me/ Cry with You/ All You Ever/ solo acoustic In a Song/ If You Told Me To > Hey, Soul Sister (Train) > Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)/ Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me/ On Top of the World (Imagine Dragons)/ More Than I Should/ Where We Left Off/ Wanted/ Light Me Up/ Better Than This   ENCORE What You Gonna Do/ I Want Crazy

Ashley Monroe

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