Ever since the Broadway musical Catch Me if You Can came into my life, I have been a huge Aaron Tveit fan. Whether it’s acting or singing I always thought, “This man can do no wrong,” now he’s released a live album, and after listening to it, I feel just the same.
Tveit made a name for himself on stage when he originated the roles of Frank Abagnale Jr in Catch Me if You Can and Gabe in Next to Normal, as well as appearing in shows such as Wicked and Hairspray. Last December, he transitioned to the big screen playing Enjolras in Les Miserables, then making his way to the smaller screen in the USA Network show Graceland.
During a six-date concert series at 54 Below-Broadway’s Supper Club, Tveit’s set was recorded and made into an album, The Radio in My Head: Live at 54 Below, that was digitally available September 6, 2013 and tangibly available today, September 10, 2013.
What I thought was going to just be regular album with song after song, turned into more than an hour of songs and commentary that the performer gave during the show. The quick fade outs after songs into the intros gave an illusion of being there, watching him joke with the band and give interesting anecdotes about his life leading up to his big break (“Welcome Freshman”, “A Little Bit Country”, and “The (Not) Last Song”) and during some of his shows (“Not Your Average Lullaby”, “YouTube Generation”) , so thanks for that Kontinuous Jams Studios who did the mixing and Greg Reierson at Rare Form Mastering sounds, for doing the mastering.
With his smooth-controlled tenor voice, Tveit can really belt some of the songs to the rafters, which at times made up for some of the tunes you couldn’t quite feel the emotion in (I’m looking at you “When I was Your Man” cover). Don’t get me wrong, I listened to that cover on repeat the whole 20 minutes it takes me to get to work yesterday, and got chills when he held the lyrics “I was wrong” and “I know I’m probably much to late to apologize for my mistakes, but I just want you to know”, but considering I cried when I first heard Bruno Mars sing the song, the Broadway vet’s version was lacking a little something. However, he more than makes up for it singing the highly anticipated (at least for me) release of “Run Away With Me” from The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown, which is as emotional as it is vocally magical (aside: I don’t know a whole lot of “music jargon,” but I know what I felt).
With a voice that reflects his musical background, he truly shines in the showtunes “I’m Alive” from Next to Normal, “Something’s Coming” West Side Story, and “Goodbye”, my personal favorite out of the three, from Catch Me if You Can, but towards the end of the album, the 29 year-old confesses his love for pop music, specifically Taylor Swift, and starts a cover of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” that not only engages the audience, but one that I could see in Broadway musical.
To me, The Radio in My Head-Live at 54 Below really showcases what Tveit can do with his voice and his personality, and as a long-time fan, even with the exception of a few “could have done’s” I was not disappointed.
FULL LISTING OF ALBUM:
"On A Friday Night"
"If I Loved You/To Make You Feel My Love"
"Little Bit Country"
"When I Was Your Man"
"What You’d Call A Dream"
"Where Am I?"
"One Song Glory"
"Not Your Average Lullaby"
"There’s A World / Hero and Leander"
”The Future Is Closer Than You Think”
"I Could Be In Love With Someone Like You"
"You Tube Generation"
"Run Away With Me"
"She’s Always A Woman/A Case Of You"
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
"The (Not) Last Song"
"My Romance/I Remember You"