Darren Criss – Listen Up Tour – Boston HOB VIDEOS – Recap

I was at the sold-out Darren Criss concert at the House of Blues in Boston Saturday night. And what an adventure it was! I’m going to fill this post in with a recap, but first I want to get the videos up!

OK. I arrived at the HOB and there was a freaking line that ended at Ipswich Street and then snaked around the building. Everyone in line who was my age had kids with them, and I suddenly felt very very sad. Also, apparently, there was a dead rat behind the building, which I thankfully missed. Ugh. So many rats in the Fenway.  Also, there was a baseball game going on, and I had to pay WAY TOO MUCH to park.

I finally get into the venue and found my seat. It’s NOT where I thought it was. I was on the balcony–but over in a corner with an obstructed view. After whining on twitter, a miracle happened! An awesome duo, Tirzah (sp??) and Allison rescued me from a horrible night. There was an extra seat dead center in the front row of the stadium section. Kind of far away, but a clear view front and center. Y’all should be glad, because I would have spent the entire night bitching on twitter otherwise.

The line was so long, I missed most of Charlene Kaye’s set. She opened for the Star Kids when they played the HOB in 2012.  The Star Kids are the University of Michigan theater group Darren performed with. Their most well-known productions are their Harry Potter parodies. Anyway–Darren came out and sang with Charlene on a number. Unfortunately, I did not get it on video. I was still pissed off in my old crappy seat, so I can’t even tell ya what happened.

By the time the second act, Theo Katzman, came out, I was in my new seat and able to concentrate. Theo is Darren’s musical director and delivered a short, but poppy set of fun songs. The dude loves to rock out. He renamed a song “Brooklyn” to “Brookline” much to my delight, since I live there. He was all HEY JP LICKS and I was impressed.

Darren kicked off his 15 song set with “Circle of Life” from The Lion King. The music was a nice mix of new material, Star Kid tunes and songs from his 2010 EP Human.  Darren brought a girl up on stage and serenaded her with a new song, “Picture Perfect Girl.”  Afterward, he shot a selfie in front of the audience. The girl he pulled up had lots of moxie!

Knowing that The Voice runner-up, Michelle Chamuel was a buddy of Darren’s back at the University of Michigan, AND that she was back home in Massachusetts, I was keeping my fingers crossed for a duet, and we got one! The two sang Darren’s song, “Not Alone” and it was pretty awesome. The two had obvious chemistry.

There was a sweet acoustic section in the middle, with Darren accompanying himself on guitar.  His cover of Blink 182′s “Going Away to College” made me kind of giddy.

Darren wrapped up the set with more new songs, including a nostalgic tune called “Once Upon a Time.” It’s obvious he loved college and loves the friends he met there even more. The entire band is made up of musicians he met at the University of Michigan. For that reason, there was an easy camaraderie on stage and an air of fun (The neon colored super-hero stage set helped!)

The encore featured a rocked-out “Teenage Dream”–the Glee cover that made him famous.  He started out on piano, lovely strings joined in and eventually the entire band is played at a fever pitch while Darren went nuts on stage.  The song segued into an original tune called “Stutter” and finished the set where it began, with “Circle of Life.”

The tour is almost over–Darren plays his last gig in Silver Springs, Maryland tomorrow night.

Check out the videos below!

1. Circle of Life

Darren loves him some Disney songs. This Lion King song is one of many he’s covered over the years.

2. Any of Those Things (New Song)

This is a brand new song that may go on his next album.

3. Sami

From Darren’s EP Human, released in 2010

4. Picture Perfect Girl (New Song)

5. Words (New Song)

6. Darren and Michelle Chamuel – Not Alone

This was pretty awesome. These two are obviously buddies. They were adorable.

7. Human

Title track from Human. The acoustic set began here.

8. Hey Dragon

Another StarKid song. Part of the acoustic set!

9. Cover – Blink 182 – Going Away to College

Darren dedicated this to an old friend. Confession: I love this song. I know. the tune wrapped up the acoustic set.

10. Don’t You

From the Human EP

11. To Have a Home

An oldie but a goodie from Team Starkid

12. Pheromones (New Song)

13. Once Upon a Time (New Song)

14. Teenage Dream/Stutter/Circle of Life Reprise

This was the super-duper encore! Teenage Dream with the full band was pretty cool

  • Bizmu

    His hair is thinning pretty badly.

  • jennyl2

    Its sweat. Plastered to the skull. lol!

  • jennyl2

    I’m so glad the night worked out for you MJ!. Thanks for all the awesome vids for those of us who can’t be there. They are terrific!

  • lovetheusa1776

    Never watched Glee. Find Criss here a competent singer/live performer who is very fortunate to have been picked up by that popular show.

  • Miz

    He has a very white scalp. i suggest all males who are going to be under spotlights to use a ‘sudden tan’ product on their scalps before taking the stage to avoid idiotic comments about their hair growth.

  • No Thanks

    OK, I thought I was the only one who saw that! I hope it’s just bad lighting.

  • Bugme Nomor

    With his father:

  • Bizmu

    Nothing some propecia or rogaine couldn’t fix. Either that or he seems to have good shape of scalp, he will look good clean shaven.

  • Bizmu

    Most genetic hair loss comes from the mother side though. Is that her mom?

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Yeah, you’d have to look at Darren’s maternal grandfather to see if it’s genetic hair loss.

  • Listening

    We can’t judge whether his hair is thinning or not from a red carpet event b/c then he’s prepared he could alter it to make it look fuller. You got to catch him in his natural state and unaware. And another thing we can’t go by him on television either that can be altered and shot around. One perfect example Hugh Laurie who played Dr. House on the show House. He’s got a huge bald spot on the top of his head. I didn’t know this until what season 5 when I saw him in an interview. I was like your kidding me. I was totally fooled.

    Oh another random fact Hugh Laurie is like British and in day to day life he talks w/ a British accent yet on the show American. Once again had no clue. He’s an excellent actor.

  • Listening

    I kept switching between yeah his hair is thinning to no it’s the lights but the longer I stared at the vid and studied his entire scalp the more I leaned to yep it’s thinning.

    He probably has very fine hair anyway so that doesn’t help.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    His hair is thinning. It wasn’t the lighting. It happens. *shrug*

  • Montavilla

    I’d guess that most of his hardcore fans didn’t discover him through Glee. With the Harry Potter parodies, StarKids tapped into a powerful fandom. The first one went viral and they ran a ticket lottery for the second one so that people would have a fighting chance to get one. They had entries from fans worldwide.

    I remember when news came that Ryan Murphy was casting “Kurt’s boyfriend” at the beginning of the second season. EW ran an article asking people who they thought should play the part — and Darren Criss was a big favorite already.

  • Amy Beth

    He has Prince William hair!

  • DD

    Why is this the topic of conversation? Shouldn’t it be about his music???

  • Axxxel

    wasn’t that the reason why Darren eventually auditioned.. because his friends put his attention to those internet comments who favored him for that role ? Darren already auditioned before for Glee to play Finn but did not succeed to get that role..

  • Axxxel

    Naah… I am not even a fan of Darren Criss and still I like discussing his hair… My favorite hairdo is his curly hair in the beginning of Katy Perry’s video “Last Friday Night”…

    I prefer his curly hair..even more than his slick , heavily gelled hair when he is acting in Glee.. but then again, that gelled hair helped him to get the part in Glee that made him even more famous… he would never have gotten that role with his curly hair. So hair does matter. LOL…

  • Axxxel

    Yeah, and I thought that seats with obstructed views are not sold.. unless if the obstructed view is a tall person..

  • Axxxel

    Thank you MJ for the recap ! Good to hear that you had a great time…

  • Montavilla

    I don’t know. I haven’t heard that story. I did hear that he had auditioned before for the show. I expect that, as an aspiring actor (who was on two TV shows prior to Glee), he auditioned for a lot of things and wasn’t quite right for the roles.