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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 7, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 31
THE MUSIC LOUNGE
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Eric Hutchinson on opening for Kelly Clarkson, his favorite Seattle restaurant, and luggage

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Here's a good reason to arrive early at the Kelly Clarkson concert on Wednesday night: Eric Hutchinson. The 34 year-old musician is opening for the pop superstar when her 'Piece By Piece Tour' descends to Key Arena this week. Although the Washington DC native is performing a short set, as will fellow supporting act Pentatonix, he won't have any trouble filling it; his five-album catalog stretches back to 2003 with last year's Pure Fiction being his latest release. Among the songs you might hear Hutchinson play live at the sports venue is 'Tell the World,' currently featured in Microsoft's ad campaign for Windows 10. Aside from Clarkson, the rising singer-songwriter has also toured with Jason Mraz and OneRepublic. Not bad for a guy who placed second in a songwriting competition, right? Already on the road, I was able to track down Hutchinson for a few minutes to answer questions via email. Here's what he had to say when he stepped inside The Music Lounge.

NOTE: The August 12 concert is expected to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets priced between $25.50 and $95.50 can be purchased at livenation.com, or at any Ticketmaster location. Any remaining tickets on the day of show will be sold at the Key Arena box office.



Albert Rodriguez: How has the tour been going so far?

Eric Hutchinson: It's been great! It feels like summer camp out here. There's 140 people working on this tour and everyday backstage is so fun!

Rodriguez: Tell me about your opening set for Kelly Clarkson. How long is it, are you accompanied by a full band, and will you include any new material?

Hutchinson: The challenge for me has been to take my normal 90-minute headlining show and cram it all into 30, of non-stop music and dancing. So far, Kelly's crowds have been really receptive, which feels great.

Rodriguez: What are the first three things that go into your suitcase when packing for a big tour?

Hutchinson: More importantly, it's what suitcase I pack everything into! My band and I are kind of luggage geeks. We always trot out new bags to impress each other. The more compartments and bells and whistles the better. Lately, I've been loving Tom Bihn, which is actually a Seattle-based company. Hoping to get them out to my Seattle show! That would be like meeting The Beatles for my band!

Rodriguez: How do you decide what to wear for each show?

Hutchinson: I have a stylist, and before the tour I try on tons of suits. This summer, I've got some bright colored Paul Smith suits that really pop and make me stand out, even if you're watching the show from the nosebleeds.

Rodriguez: What comes to mind when you hear the word 'Seattle'?

Hutchinson: Il Corvo! It's my favorite pasta! As good as anything I ate in Italy. It's downtown and I always make sure the schedule allows for us to get lunch there. Took the band last time and they freaked out!

Rodriguez: What's it like to tour with Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix? Do you all ride in the same tour bus, or hang out together after the concerts?

Hutchinson: There are probably 10 buses carrying all of the bands and crews. It's crazy! Everyone is constantly running around and working. The other day, Kelly and I were rushing past each other near catering and she yelled sarcastically 'Oh, Hi, Eric! I'm sooooo glad I get to see you for 5 seconds while we're touring together!'

Rodriguez: Kelly Clarkson has been an outspoken ally of the LGBT community since the start of her career. What's your reaction to the progress made recently - Gay marriage, Caitlyn Jenner, Transgender troops in the military?

Hutchinson: I think it's about time! I grew up in a very relaxed, progressive small town outside of Washington DC. I had Gay neighbors and friends. Our little 4th of July parade always had an LGBT float. I believe everyone should be treated fairly and equally.

Rodriguez: For anyone that hasn't listened to your music before, what one song do you recommend they listen to first?

Hutchinson: Only one!!?? Haha, I guess it would be 'Tell The World' from my new album Pure Fiction. Microsoft just started using it in their new Windows 10 commercial, so you might hear it whether you want to or not!

Rodriguez: Will you possibly return to Seattle this year for a headlining show?

Hutchinson: I hope so! I felt like my Seattle shows really took a huge step forward in 2014. I've had lots of support from Heather Lee and Click 98.9 recently, so maybe that's been part of it.

Rodriguez: What's your favorite thing about summer?

Hutchinson: Um. Ice cream. Duh.

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