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.
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.
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