On Saturday Oct. 17, downtown Tulsa’s nightly routine was invaded by the high energy mixture of synth pop, indie and rock sounds of The Blue Hues. Caleb Daniels Ricketts, Wyatt Hargrove, Celyn Grigson and Ryan Ganaban, primary members of The Blue Hues, were accompanied by Jacob Gates on trumpet, and Joshua Demetri on bass guitar. Together, these boys created an ecstatic night with help from the Tulsa Performing Arts Center’s “Arts in the Air” series.
The Tulsa Performing Arts Center (PAC) created the “Arts in the Air” series during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to continue having free live outdoor concerts after a period of absence in the music industry. Every Friday and Saturday evening, the Tulsa PAC hosts local music artists and partnered ensembles at the Williams Green, where musicians are able to showcase their work once again.
“The Blue Hues” boys started their band in 2019 as just Caleb and Wyatt, and then in 2020, introduced Celyn and Ryan as a part of their band. The band released their first album, “Plastic Jazz,” in November of 2019 and since then have been working on new music, such as their soon-to-be released song “Happy as Can be.” The sound of “The Blue Hues” ranges from upbeat synthesizer beats to a low bass guitar and high energy trumpet solos. The diverse range of instruments gives “The Blue Hues” a unique, diverse sound that is also heard in their album “Plastic Jazz” and was inspired by musicians such as Freddie Mercury and The Beach Boys .
During the concert, “The Blue Hues” performed a mixture of songs from “Plastic Jazz” along with songs that the band has not released yet. By performing songs from their album live, the music gained new life that could not be seen by a quick listen on a music-sharing platform. The fan favorite song, however, was a tear-jerkingly hysterical rendition of “Ripped Pants” from the “Spongebob SquarePants” television show.
Lead singer Caleb Ricketts showed the audience that not only could he sing, but he could swing his hips too. His dance moves during instrumental solos captured attention from the intentional and unintentional audience. Towering over the Williams Green is the Hyatt Regency Hotel. During the concert, many people who were staying at the hotel would pull back their window curtains to try and get a listen and look at the concert going on below them. Many people staying in the hotel stopped for a few moments and some stayed for the entirety of the concert. One couple in particular walked out from the hotel and decided to join the audience for the remainder of the concert. It’s not surprising so many people wanted a glimpse at what the band provided because of the lively atmosphere many people have been missing for the last several months.
The overall environment of the concert was not like a “normal” concert setting due to the social distancing policy and mask mandate. A nice touch to the overall experience of the concert was the mini bar set up to the side of the stage for people to relax with a cup of hot chocolate or a cold beer. Shirts with “The Blue Hues” logo were being sold and business cards were given out as well. After a farewell from Caleb Daniels at the end of the concert, “The Blue Hues” successfully performed their first concert with the hopes of soon having many more.