Ben Platt’s ‘Reverie,’ Joy, And A Little Broadway Magic Arrived At Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden had just finished 15 consecutive sold-out shows as Harry’s House, but on Tuesday night (Sept. 27), Ben Platt transformed the iconic Manhattan venue into his “Childhood Bedroom.” Yes, that was the song used by the Broadway star to open the New York City leg of his long-awaited Reverie Tour.
New York City is the greatest city on the planet, but you already knew that. And it’s been an enormous honour to perform at each and every venue I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. So now being at Madison Square Garden feels surreal and as if it’s not happening, but it is!” As the audience applauded, he said.
“Performance is just a huge part of who I am, and it has been since I was about five years old.” It’s a part of my humanity, so not being able to do it for the last three years has just been a challenge,” he explained later in his set. “And I’ve felt like I’ve lost some of that love for what I do and confidence in myself, and I’ve been waiting to get back on stage, so I’m so grateful that you came and let me do that again.”
Platt captivated the audience for ninety minutes with his sky-high vocal prowess, quirky theatre kid-turned-unlikely pop star persona, spectacular covers, and even a dash or two of Broadway magic. Billboard was on hand to capture all of the best moments from the show.
Aly and AJ’s First Set
Aly & AJ warmed up the crowd with an impressive eight-song set highlighting their 2021 album, A Touch of the Beat Gets You Up on Your Feet Gets You Out and Then Into the Sun, before Platt made his grand entrance. The sisters’ lithe voices intertwined beautifully on tracks like “Slow Dancing,” “Don’t Need Nothing,” and “Break Yourself,” especially on fan favourite album opener “Pretty Places.” They debuted a brand-new, untitled track from their upcoming fifth studio album, and no Aly & AJ set in 2022 would have been complete without their mid-’00s banger “Potential Breakup Song,” which the siblings wisely used as their big finale number, explicit lyrics included.
Ben and the Wizard
With Broadway only a few blocks away, Platt’s show would have felt incomplete if he hadn’t mentioned his theatre roots. While the Tony winner has included a gender-swapped cover of Waitress’ “She Used to Be Mine” at each stop on the tour, he gave the New York audience an extra treat by also tackling Wicked’s “The Wizard and I.” “This is a role I’ll never get to play, but it’s one I’ve always wanted to play.” “Let’s do it,” he said, leaping into Elphaba’s shoes and belting the modern classic all the way to Shiz and back.
I Want to Dance With Someone
Platt opened up about his relationship with longtime boyfriend (and fellow Dear Evan Hansen alum) Noah Galvin early in the show, while introducing Reverie single “Happy to Be Sad.” The couple’s love was on full display later in the evening, when Galvin crashed the stage during the appropriately titled album cut “Dance with You.”
“If I’m going to dance, I want to dance with you/ Put your hand in mine/ Turn me around the room/ If there’s going to be dancing, Hey!” “Then I want to dance with you,” Platt sang as Galvin twirled around him in a tight embrace before planting a kiss on his boyfriend. “I’m not sure who that man who stormed the stage was,” Platt joked after finishing the song. “Someone call security — good kisser!”
You are free to go your own way.
Platt invited Aly and AJ back to the stage immediately after Galvin’s sweet surprise for a magnetic cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” The trio injected the Rumours classic with plenty of attitude, mesmerising harmonies, and a full-fledged instrumental break featuring Aly & AJ on duelling guitars, with the former Disney Channel stars providing backup vocals.
Platt’s high-flying cover of Lady Gaga’s “Yoü and I” received the most thunderous applause from the audience of any moment during the show, and there were several. Platt admitted he just had to perform the country-rock foot-stomper when he heard Gaga hadn’t put it on the setlist for the Chromatica Ball after being recruited by Mother Monster to record it for the tenth anniversary re-release of Born This Way last year.
Kicking his feet up to perform the song while reclining on a piano, the singer was able to showcase his best riffs, runs, and vocal acrobatics — at one point even while lying prone on stage — and truly earn the standing ovation that followed.
Platt’s Reverie Tour will then stop in Boston, Atlantic City, and Orlando before concluding on Oct. 7 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla.
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