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Sawyer Fredericks plays to sold-out, friendly crowd at Egg


Sawyer Fredericks plays to sold-out, friendly crowd at Egg

Sunday night served as a homecoming of sorts for Sawyer Fredericks, playing to a crowd that has b...
Sawyer Fredericks plays to sold-out, friendly crowd at Egg
Sawyer Fredericks performs for a sold-out crowd at the Egg in Albany on Sunday Dec. 4, 2016.
Photographer: Eric Jenks

Sunday night served as a homecoming of sorts for Sawyer Fredericks, playing to a crowd that has been hooked since the teenager first appeared last year on “The Voice.”

The musician with local roots and a national following played his first show at the Egg on Sunday night, in the sold-out Lewis A. Swyer Theatre. The teenager, who has maintained a strong following in the Capital Region, played a mix of his old and newer songs for about an hour.

At 9:15 p.m., Fredericks entered the theater to a burst of applause as several audience members held up phones to snap a photo of him. He took the stage with an acoustic guitar slung over his shoulder and his trademark derby hat perched on his head.

The 17-year-old rose to fame in 2015 by winning the eighth season of “The Voice,” a singing competition on NBC. In May, he released his first major-label full-length album (“A Good Storm,” on Republic). Fredericks grew up on a farm in Fultonville, Montgomery County, and still calls it home when he’s not touring.

“The very first night I saw him on ‘The Voice,’ I turned to my wife and said, ‘he’s going to win the whole show,’ ” said Jack Suitto, who wore a faded “Team Sawyer” T-shirt to Sunday night’s show.

A handful of audience members donned derby hats similar to the one Fredericks wore while on “The Voice” and on Sunday night. Others purchased shirts and Sawyer-related memorabilia before the show from a merchandise table outside the theater.

The vast majority of the fans at the Egg had rooted for Fredericks throughout his run on the TV competition. For some, it was their first time seeing him live, while others had taken in one or more of his other local performances.

Suitto, for example, said he saw Fredericks at Gloversville Middle School, where the musician played in late October as part of a fundraiser for Mountain Valley Hospice.

Suitto, a Galway resident, prefers when Fredericks is performing solo with his guitar, and said he was excited to see Fredericks at the Egg because of its more intimate setting. The Swyer Theatre only holds 450 people.

Fredericks plays contemporary folk music, and was joined Sunday night by a drummer, a bassist and an electric guitarist. About halfway through the show, Fredericks stood alone on the stage, performing a few songs solo.

Also attending Sunday’s show were Joan and Glenn Walker, who had previously seen Fredericks at the Fonda Fairgrounds in 2015. At that point, the musician was only beginning his rise to fame, and he only played a few songs, said Joan Walker, who’s from Colonie.

On Sunday, he performed about a dozen songs, playing original tracks such as “Any of My Trouble,” “4 Pockets,” “Still Here” and “Red Memories.”

Sunday night was the first time Rita Delude of Cohoes saw Fredericks perform. Her husband won tickets through a radio contest, allowing her to cross him off her list of musicians she’s been waiting to see.

“I’ve been wanting to see him for a long time,” she said, wearing a tour T-shirt she’d bought just minutes earlier. “I watched him on ‘The Voice,’ and I voted for him every time.”

Fredericks will make a few more stops through upstate New York in the next week as part of the Winter Storm Tour. He’ll play in Buffalo on Wednesday, and then Syracuse on Friday. He’ll wrap up this set of tour dates Dec. 19 with a performance in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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