Normally, I hate the hassle of going to a concert with invasive security, unreliable digital tickets, obnoxious people who stand and block your view, you all know what I’m talking about, but last night was all worth it seeing Ben Platt at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Wow! He’s the real deal, with a beautifully warm and powerful voice, great sense of humor, geeky but hilarious dance moves, and a generosity of spirit that feels like he’s hugging the audience all the way to the back balcony. He’s the embodiment of the innocence and openness of youth before the conflicts and tragedies of life make you put up your walls; he inspires us to bring down our defenses even if it leaves us vulnerable to hurt sometimes.
I also loved how he spotlighted his band, not only introducing them but giving them a chance to shine (and not just an extended drum solo); he left the stage at one point and allowed his three back-up singers to take center-stage, electrifying the auditorium as they took the song into the stratosphere. I had never seen any artist cede the stage to their backup singers and it was a beauty to see. He also did a few covers, including one that thrilled me: Elton John’s “Take Me To The Pilot”. He could do a whole night of Elton John and I’d be in the front row.
Here’s a tweet with some of Ben’s funky dancing:
Below is one of my favorite Ben Platt songs, “Share Your Address”; he says it expresses his “exuberant enthusiasm” when meeting someone new and is definitely not about stalking. Although he does admit he’s the type who picks out china patterns and burial plots. Best line is about how he wants to “spend quality time with your mother”.
This was the last night of his tour but he promised to be back. I hope he does and brings more talented opening acts. I don’t think I’ve ever liked an opening act before, but Ben Abraham really got my attention just with a guitar and later a keyboard. He and the other opening act, Wrabel, co-wrote songs on Ben Platt’s album. See/hear Ben Abraham in action: