I had so much fun at the Glee concert June 7 at the Boston Garden I could hardly stand it. If you are a fan of the hit FOX show, and the kids are making their way to YOUR town, I highly recommend getting a ticket to this super-fun high energy show.
Seriously. I could not wipe the smile off my face from the minute the kids hit the stage with “Don’t Stop Believing”– the song that introduced the world to the loveable band of rag-tag misfits called New Directions–until they signed off with the anthemic “Somebody to Love”. Fun Fun Fun, as the boys sing in an acoustic performance of “Friday” near the end of the show.
The Garden was packed. For a second or two, I had flashbacks to past Idol concerts I attended–the audience very similar–moms, kids, a sprinkling of men–but with an extra helping of gay guys.
The stage setup was in three sections. There was a back stage where some of the bigger numbers took place with a catwalk that lead to a smaller front space. I was sitting in what’s called “the pit”–an area between the front and backstage. It was super super close, but a little weird, as the performers were often facing away from us. The cast entered the stage from below–climbing stairs that were so close to the pit, you could reach out and touch them. The teens sitting around me got quite a few high fives from cast members as they sprinted up the steps to hit their marks.
There was also a stage in the back of the arena, which was a nice setup for people in the cheap seats who got to see a few performances close up. Well, not so nice for me. Two of my favorite Glee songs EVER were performed on the other side of the arena. Boo. More on that in a bit.
The songs! The show began with group numbers. The aforementioned “Don’t Stop” kicked things off, followed by “Dog Days Are Over” (Where the oft-neglected Jenna Ushkowitz got to shine) and “Sing”. The show is tightly scripted, with the cast performing in character, as if New Directions and The Warblers decided to hit the road together. Clips from the show are interspersed throughout, with Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) introducing some of the numbers (hilariously).
Don’t Stop Believing
After the big numbers, come the solos. Heather Morris kicked things off with “Slave for U” from the Britney/Brittany episode. This is a good spot to mention that the kids sing LIVE, mostly, unless they’ve got to move around a lot. Heather certainly gets a pass because she pretty much dances her face off with an entourage of backup dancers. Besides–a Britney homage just would not be right without the lip syncing!
Some favorite solos: the preternaturally and astoundingly flawless Chris Colfer sang a beautiful “I Want to Hold Your Hand”–smiling and without tears. And Amber Riley belted out an impressive “Ain’t No Way” at the other end of the arena.
After “Pretty Young Thing” has Kevin McHale and Harry Shum Jr. doing their cute song-and-dance man routine, the entire cast hits the stage to perform GAGA. The kids sport their slogan shirts– including the LEBANESE Naya Rivera–as they joyfully proclaim their right to fly their freak flags. Well, as freaky as a FOX show at 8 pm can get. Aw. I dug it anyway.
Born This Way
“Firework” is notable for the cool pyro that goes on behind Lea Michele as she belts those high notes. Yes, there was a real mini-fireworks display in the Garden rafters!
Next it was time for teenaged SCREAMS as Darren Criss and the Warblers kicked their set off across the arena with “Teenage Dream”. The teen next to me with her “I Love You Darren” sign was crushed. OK. Maybe I was too, if I’m being perfectly honest. But lucky for her (and me) the guys made their way through the audience to the front of the stage while crooning “Silly Love Songs.” The blue-blazered boys finished their set with a happy rendition of “Raise Your Glass”.
At this point, my teen, after managing to touch Darren’s hand not once but TWICE was about ready to PASS OUT. But not before her earth shattering shrieks nearly blew my eardrums out. Aw, she was so excited when Darren touched her hand! Who could blame her? I’ve got to admit Kurt’s main man is an absolute energetic ball of ADORABLENESS.
It took a few days. But my hearing came back.
Next, it was time for what was ultimately my favorite part of the concert. Duets. I love me some Glee duets. No downtime for anybody here. As the pairs performed their songs, the rest of the cast sat in a mock class room waving their arms and (attempting) to look excited. The first number, probably my all-time favorite Glee duet, was the sweet and sentimental “Happy Days Are Here Again / Get Happy” medley sung awesomely by Lea Michele and Chris Colfer. I’m going to admit it. I’m loving me some Kachel, people. I might be the only one, but I don’t care.
The bad news? The song took place in the BACK OF THE ARENA. SOB. Forcing me to watch it on the big screen. NO. And the damn video I found has been taken down. DAMN YOU FOX.
Also worth noting: The divine divas, Naya Rivera and Amber Riley KICKED ALL KINDS OF ASS on “River Deep Mountain High” (Eat your heart out, Pia. NO SERIOUSLY REALLY. AND IDOL REJECTED AMBER. DUMBASSES). Chord Overstreet and Dianna Agron end the set with a winsome “Lucky” and the duets come to a close. CLASS DISMISSED!
Because there probably would have been a riot if there had been no Klaine interaction, and the show producers needed a way to introduce Darren into the rest of the Glee numbers without confusing the audience, there’s a little skit featuring Brittany, Kurt and Blaine. It’s a little awkward (Brittany hitting on Blaine? Really?) but it does the trick. After Kurt chases off Brittany, he asks Blaine if he’ll join the Glee club. I think that’s what happens–the crowd is so loud at this point, it’s hard to tell.
Here’s where the set list changed at some point. In Las Vegas, where the show opened, Kurt and Blaine introduced Rachel singing “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, but that number is gone. Instead they introduce Cory Monteith’s “Jesse’s Girl”. And yes, he’s awkward and still can’t sing. Don’t kill me–I think he’s one of the best actors on the show. But a song and dance man? No.
“Valerie” featuring the fabulous and under-appreciated Naya Rivera is next, followed by “Loser Like Me” (Yawn. Glee originals. Suck. Hard.). The guys, sans Chris Colfer sing an acoustic, dudetastic “Friday”. Chris was busy on the back stage humiliating himself a tiny bit dancing “Single Ladies” with the girls. Oh camera man? that crotch shot on the big screen was COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY.
BONUS POINTS IF YOU CAN SPOT THE BLOGGER! Hee.
Kevin McHale plays the paraplegic Artie on Glee, but in a former life, he sang and danced with a boy band. “Safety Dance”, a dream sequence from the 1st season is probably Kevin’s one and only shot to show off his moves. Hi legs!
The show winds down with two big production numbers: “Empire State of Mind” and “Somebody to Love”. The latter has the entire cast including the Warblers and the dancers out on stage for a final bow.
Tickets for the show were $100 dollars. Yeah, I know. The show had decent production values, a live band and dancers. The kids, who are bonafide TV stars at this point probably don’t come cheap.
A couple of last notes: The band was solid. Girl bass player was particularly RAD. DO NOT ARRIVE LATE. The opening act, the League of Extraordinary Dancers, or LXD for short combine hip hop, contemporary, ballet, THE KITCHEN SINK, humor, marvelous storytelling and more in some incredible dance routines. Great stuff.
Check out the set list and photos I took below.
- Don’t Stop Believing – New Directions
- Dog Days are Over – New Directions
- Sing – New Directions
- Slave 4 U – Heather Morris & Dancers
- Fat Bottomed Girls – Mark Salling,
- I Want to Hold your Hand – Chris Colfer
- Ain’t no Way – Amber Riley
- Pretty Young Thing – Kevin McHale & Harry Shum Jr.
- Born This Way – New Directions
- Firework – Lea Michele
- Teenage Dream – Warblers
- Silly Love Songs – Warblers
- Raise Your Glass – Warblers
- Happy Days/Get Happy – Chris Colfer & Lea Michele
- Lucky – Chord Overstreet and Dianna Agron
- River Deep, Mountain High – Amber Riley & Naya Rivera & the girls
- Skit with Heather Morris, Darren Criss and Chris Colfer
- Jessie’s Girl – Corey Monteith
- Valerie – Naya Rivera & dancers
- Loser Like Me – New Directions + Darren Criss
- Single Ladies dance – Chris Colfer and the Girls
- Friday (Acoustic) – Cory, Chord, Mark, Kevin, Harry and Darren
- Safety Dance – Kevin McHale and dancers
- Empire State of Mind – New Directions + Darren Criss
- Somebody to Love – New Directions + Darren Criss