Knoxville's Bijou Theatre has held many excited crowds, and last Friday night was no exception as Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors took the stage.
The audience members were not the only ones with excitement, however. Both graduates of UT, Drew and Ellie Holcomb looked forward to returning to Knoxville, where they have such personal ties.
"We get asked all the time where our favorite place to play is," Drew Holcomb said. "We never hesitate to say the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville."
The group's fan base has grown through out the years, and this stop on the tour was a sold-out show. The band is currently on its "Good Light" tour, following the release of the group's newest album of the same name. The couple played a mixture of old favorites and new songs.
Kevin Miller, freshman in university relations, said he enjoyed the song selection as well as the atmosphere.
"They played a lot off their new album 'Good Light,' which I hadn't heard but instantly fell in love with," Miller said. "They sounded so great, and the Bijou is one of my favorite venues in Knoxville, so it was a great time."
Drew Holcomb played the harmonica and the guitar simultaneously, and he and Ellie sang together and separately after opening on an energetic note with their song "Good Light."
The band members' friendly personalities have contributed to their growing popularity. Freshman in biological sciences Emily Heyduck met the couple earlier Friday and said she was impressed.
"I got the chance to speak with them before the show at disc exchange and they are really genuine, down-to-earth people," Heyduck said. "Their concert didn't disappoint either."
The concert was a balance of lighthearted, cheerful songs and sadder, more heartfelt tunes.
Heyduck said she particularly enjoyed their song "Tennessee." This is one of their more popular songs, and it has been played at UT football games this season.
"At one point they had the whole room singing along to 'Tennessee,'" Heyduck said. "Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors are incredible live."
After "Tennessee," the band waved goodbye and walked offstage. The audience stood, clapped and cheered until they returned and played their upbeat, lively and most popular song, "Fire and Dynamite."
Alexandra Rajic, a recent UT graduate in engineering, said she appreciated their stage presence.
"The whole concert had a really great atmosphere," Rajic said. "It felt very personal and intimate. It's obvious when they perform that they all love each other, and that's part of what makes it so great to see them live."
Miller and Rajic have both seen Drew and Ellie perform before, and said they did not leave disappointed.
"I've seen Drew and Ellie in concert once before, and this concert definitely lived up to it," Rajic said. "Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors are incredibly talented, and their sound is really different from a lot of other bands."
The attendees were thoroughly entertained, and so was the band. Drew Holcomb felt like the night was a success.
"There are a lot of nights on the road when we are playing music that it feels like a job," he said. "Not tonight."