On Saturday 15th June, we headed to Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo to see multi-award winning singer and actor Ben Platt.
Fans may know Ben from his time on stage in the hit Broadway musical ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ playing the title role, or from his time on screen as Benji in the ‘Pitch Perfect’ series. But now he is on an endeavour of his own, ‘a very exciting and new thing’ removing the facade of character to reveal his own personal music.
First up was support act James TW who played solo with his guitar and warmed up the crowd’s hearts with his lovely voice who we heard many comparing to Ed Sheeran. His top hits ‘When You Love Someone’ and ‘Say Love’ were obvious crowd pleasers. We were very glad to see James, he was the perfect opener for Ben Platt.
The main set began with a single spotlight on Ben at a piano singing ‘Bad Habit’, before singing his way through all 12 of the songs from his debut album ‘Sing To Me Instead’, alongside covers of Brandi Carlisle’s ‘The Joke’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Overjoyed’, and Elton John’s ‘Take Me to the Pilot’.
Our favourite songs of the night had to be the opener ‘Bad Habit’ for those insane vocal riffs, ‘Hurt Me Once’ for the sheer emotion Ben put into it, and ‘Share Your Address’ which certainly got the crowd even more hyped up. Another stand-out had to be ‘New’ with its uptempo beat and gorgeous additions from his amazing backing singers.
Between songs, Ben’s clear natural talent for humour shined through as he recalled anecdotes from his childhood, referring to his musically talented family as the ‘VonPlatts’, and receiving deafening screams of excitement when mentioning his time playing ‘an adolescent with a broken arm’.
Alongside these moments of comedy, we also learned more about Ben himself in the present. One touching moment to recall was the painful but beautiful story of his late grandmother before singing ‘In Case You Don’t Live Forever’ which ensured no eye was left dry in the crowd.
‘I’m so in love with this city and I feel so lucky any time I get to spend any time here, so to get to play music here is the best.’
Ben, as a member of the LGBTQ community, explained that in this first shot at his own music he wanted to portray the relationships he has experienced with men in the past. May that be the enticing nature of a person in ‘Share Your Address’, or the chance to ‘fall in love with another man’ in ‘Older’. Ben also candidly spoke of how a past relationship helped to settle his anxiety, in turn inspiring ‘Ease My Mind’.
Throughout the concert it was clear to see the sheer excitement Ben felt, and how emotional the show was for him, expressing his gratitude and gratefulness countless times throughout the night. Despite the show being sold out to fans of all ages, it was easy to feel like you were at an intimate concert, all thanks to his fantastic stage presence.
Not only was Ben’s voice flawless, his band and singers also deserve a very special mention. With the addition of a strings section, vocal accompaniment, and a piano onstage, the authentic-ness of the album was really able to come to life on stage. And we mustn’t forget the stage itself! A gorgeous ring of lights arched over the heads of those on stage, with standing lightbulbs to either side, made for the perfect glowy twinkle suited to Ben’s voice.
We had an absolutely amazing time a the concert and can’t wait for Ben to come back to the UK soon to perform more shows!