Ashley Huizinga- Staff Writer
Did you know a guitar that looks and plays like a piano exists? Did you know keyboards can come with two levels? Did you know one lead singer could make three different girls as embarrassed as possible (of which I was privileged to be one) by unexpectedly directing his song at them? After all, by Dordt terms, direct eye contact for more than three seconds is practically a proposal.
Well, I didn’t. At least not until Caleb Hawley and company (Devon Yesberger on keys, Spencer Stewart on bass, Jordan Rose on drums) rocked out on the stage of 55th last Monday, Sept. 19. With a few opening hits by up-and-coming local band The Ruralists (featuring Dordt’s own English professor Luke Hawley and theology professor Ben Lappenga), Minnesota local Caleb Hawley sang to a packed crowd of Dordt students avoiding their Monday night homework. After a lot of pelvic thrusting and dramatic lighting shifts, the group finished off their set with a solo acoustic rendition of Luke’s original “On My Own Two Feet.” Crowd favorites included “Bada Bing,” “I Believe I Can Fly,” and “Wish You Were.”
With lines like “We all got problems/We all got pain/We all need lots and lots of drugs ’cause we’re insane” and the interactive experience of watching Caleb stalk and soar and slide across the stage, both the singer and the audience seemed to be having a great time.
“I enjoy the Dordt crowd,” Caleb said. “I feel like they start off reserved, but there’s something inside them that just wants to jam out” – This is no doubt a direct reference to the inner Praise-and-Worship Pentecostal in even the most Reformed of Dordt students.
Caleb Hawley, a Minnesota native by birth, came to campus last October, but that didn’t stop him from coming back for a Read What You Want meeting, a songwriting session and Monday night’s concert.
“I’m proud to see him doing something he really enjoys, something he excels at,” said brother and professor Luke Hawley. “Just him, in the fullness of his humanity.”
Caleb Hawley and company will be undertaking another US tour in the next few weeks, but maybe next year will see them returning to the 55th stage with more loud shirts, skinny jeans, pink furry guitar straps and permed-up hair. Until then, keep up on the Hawley brand of Midwest rock by following Caleb on “all the social medias” (including calebhawley.com) and attending The Ruralists’ concert on Oct. 15 in the Fruited Plain Cafe.