Singer/songwriter Pat McGee came down with a bit of a cold after his Fall Fest performance last Saturday. “It’s been a long week of really early morning flights, traveling and just sort of running myself down,” he said. For the past five years, he and his band have taken few breaks from the road, averaging about 250 shows per year. But McGee explained that it’s traveling by plane that really wears him out.
The band’s audience has grown steadily throughout the past few years, making it somewhat inevitable the members would have to leave the comfort of their tour bus behind when heading out on national tours. “The band really started out in Richmond (Virginia),” he said. Half the band members are from this area, and it’s has always felt to me like our true home fan base. We just played here so much in the early days. It really helped launch the band,” he said.
The band has been out on the jam circuit, touring with such high-profile acts as Blues Traveler, the Allman Brothers and the Dave Matthews Band. “It’s an easy to swallow rock band,” McGee said, describing the band’s sound. “In our early stages we were a little more acoustic than we are now, which meant that at our concerts we got a lot of students, but we’d also get their brothers and sisters, people who just got married and even parents. The age range was pretty dramatic.” More recently, with increased radio airplay, he said, “We’re getting a lot of younger fans because they think it’s a new band.”
McGee, who started out playing covers as solo artist, recruited his band 1995, when and they also began writing their own material. Explaining that his writing topics have remained fairly consistent throughout the band’s career, he added that his once “innocent, face-value, relationship-type songs” have gotten into some “broader, darker and heavier” themes.
McGee, who stayed out on the quad until about 11:30 p.m. to sign promotional goods he’d given to students, said he went back home for an un uncharacteristically “low key night” after his GW performance. “Although a few of the guys did fly out the next day and I have not gotten a report. I did hear that they were seen going into Lulu’s,” he added.
Recounting Fall Fest, McGee said, “It seemed like there were a lot Freshman there, people who were just getting to know their friends, the band and college in general,” and described his impression of GW students as “independent, but in a good way.”