It’s taken me about a week to write up this review as I still cannot get over the fact that yours truly was able to take part of Darren Criss’ sold-out tour. Out of all the places he could have stopped, Nashville was definitely an odd one to pick as it is the home of country music. Darren’s music is not even in that realm.
I had been keeping up with all of his other stops so far, and I got to say, Nashville was definitely a special one for him, and not because I was there or anything. For once, it was one of the few venues that did not open up additional tickets for sale so everyone who lucked in scoring a ticket was blessed (I was, thanks for an amazing friend).
Nashville’s tour stop had been buzzing with rumors of a special guest, which when you think about it, it could have only been one person: Criss’ co-star on Glee, Chord Overstreet. The screams given by the VIP ticket holders and Overstreet’s tweets certainly confirmed that as he arrived to the venue about two hours beforehand. I didn’t get to see him arrive as my line was far away from the VIP but I was excited nonetheless (and a wee bit sunburned by that time).
Nashville was already in a tizzy as it was the same week at the CMA Music Festival. The streets were flooded with country music stars and country music lovers sporting cowboy hats and cowboy boots. Darren’s venue drew attention by being one of the non country things going on that week as cars drove by with people asking us who we were waiting for (Darren, duh!) and giving us blank stares as we tried to explain who he was.
We were allowed in the venue around 7pm and just had to patiently wait for the opening act to get going.
The talented Theo Katzman opened up the show with my personal fave from him, “Brooklyn”. Katzman totally got into his set. He jazzed the crowd and completely lost himself in the music so much that he lost his glasses mid session in his rocking out!
I didn’t mind as I love it when performers get so pumped about their music. Theo also treated us to some new tunes as well. I personally loved “Pop Song” (when can we get that?!). “Do As The Romans” was also amazing. Theo definitely got the crowd hyped up for Darren.
After an hour or so, it was time for Darren to make his entrance. And boy, did he ever! With a rocking version of The Lion King's “Circle of Life”, Darren took the stage with his pink sunnies and a white blazer combo that gave me Miami Vice feels for some reason.
Darren got the crowd much more hyper than we already were as he gave off so much more energy than I was expecting. It’s an amazing thing to see right in front of you.
After the song, he launched into the rest of his setlist, which was as follow:
- "Circle of Life"
- "Any of Those"
- "Picture Perfect Girl"
- "Not Alone"
- "I Don’t Mind"
- "Don’t You"
- "To Have A Home"
- "Once Upon A Time"
- "Teenage Dream"
- "Circle of Life Reprise"
For “Picture Perfect Girl” he grabbed a girl from the front row and serenaded her (wish it could have been me!). He then took a time out from rocking out to give us a new song that he said that he made kinda folksy since he was in Nashville, “I Don’t Mind”.
Not too long after that, Darren mentioned that he had a friend in town that he wanted to bring to jam with, which caused the crowd to go wild as we all knew it was Chord Overstreet.
Chord joined Darren on stage and we all waited with bated breathe to see what Glee's Blam would give us as a song. I was hoping for “Heroes”, and they delivered it to me!
I was in total fangirl heaven, and the rest of his show kept me there. As far as his new songs were concern, I loved them all, especially “Once Upon A Time”.
Darren wrapped the show up with his encore of his stripped down version of “Teenage Dream” with a rocking version of “Stutter” and ending with “Circle of Life”. He even joined Theo on the drums for a quick jam session
I wish I could have stuck around more to catch Darren and Theo before they took off. To say that this concert was the chance of a lifetime would be putting it mildly.
So far, Darren’s tour has been exceeding expectations and making tons of fans happy. I would so go see him again (currently plotting an impromptu visit to Maryland).
The Listen Up Tour wraps in run in Silver Springs, Maryland at the end of June. For all your Darren Criss and Pop Culture related news, stay tuned with us here at PopWrapped!