October 21, 2016
On Monday night Ben Rector, an independent touring musician who started his career while attending the University of Arkansas, performed in Charlotte as part of his “The Biggest Tour I Have Done So Far” tour. The show, originally planned for Friday, September 23rd was rescheduled for Monday October 17th at the Fillmore. Although some may have thought that moving the show to a Monday may have deterred a large number of people, the Fillmore was surprisingly packed. Maybe it was Rector’s encouraging tweet before the show.
“Come on out and let’s make Monday feel like the weekend.”
Or maybe the setup of the Fillmore that night made it feel more crowded than usual. In an attempt to honor the ticket types originally sold, the Fillmore did it’s best effort to mirror a pit, reserved seating, and general admission set-up. With the use of metal gates, color-coded wristbands and security personnel, the space was successfully divided into those three sections. While those who originally had seats did not have a place to sit, they at least in a better viewing area. To add to the fun, Live Nation even broadcasted the show live on Youtube.
Rector, whose first musical memory is picking out the Rugrats theme song on the piano by ear, started the show on a mini grand piano accompanied by four others who played a medley of electric keyboards, bass, ukulele, mandolin, or guitar. Like his band mates, Rector himself would switch between instruments throughout the show, oscillating between piano and guitar. At one point he even appeared on stage with a cowbell to perform “Loving you is Easy,” a song off of his 2010 album Into the Morning. The music then progressed into a sing-a-long (accompanied by the cowbell, of course) of the Jackson 5’s “ABC.”
Throughout the night, Rector continued to transition to and from his songs and various covers. He combined “I Like You” from his 2013 album The Walking in Between with Bob Marley’s “I Wanna Love You.”
Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” with his song “Beat” also off his 2010 album.
And then the Cha Cha Slide just because…
To end he did something not many musicians do: he called out the idea of an encore. Joking with the crowd he explained that this would be his last song but reassured the crowd that they would be hiding behind the curtain. Sure enough, as soon as his last song “ended” and the band walked off stage the crowd erupted with chants of “Ben! Ben! Ben! Ben!” As promised, Rector came back to perform “Brand New” a single off his 2015 album with the same name.
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