Lead Events Editor
Lead Events Editor
Can I start this out by telling you that if you have the chance to see a concert at The Paramount in Huntington, NY, do not hesitate. Go there. It is a perfect little venue. The main floor slopes, ever so slightly, so that if you’re standing all the way in the back of a mob of people, your view is still unobstructed. The Huntington stop on the Listen Up tour was added after the initial dates sold out. After speaking with Darren’s manager, Ricky Rollins, I found out that the show was a “test run” for the “crazy-ness” that would ensue at Roseland in New York City the following night.
For opener, Theo Katzman, this show was a homecoming show. His family was there. He is from Long Island, so it was very apparent that he was over the moon to be performing. His energy was amazing. Twice during his set, his glasses flew from his face because of how hard he was rocking out. If you weren’t able to make it to a show on the Listen Up tour and you have not yet experienced the greatness that is Theo Katzman, you are completely doing yourself a disservice.
His two new songs (Trying to Write a Pop Song, and As the Romans Do) are incendiary. I cannot wait for him to lay these tracks down and share them with the world.
As for Darren’s set, I don’t want to give you a play by play of songs that everyone has talked about for the last month, there was a formula to the concert and Darren did not deviate from it much. Typical Darren, opening (and closing) with The Circle of Life from The Lion King.
Not many songs on the set list measure up to “I Still Think,” in my opinion.Adding the full band puts the song on a whole different level than the acoustic version that is available on iTunes. His repetoire includes a ton of dialogue, which is common at a Darren show; he’s trying to have an intimate experience with his audience, so he shares stories, discusses the songs and repeatedly wants to make sure that everyone is having a good time.
From what I understand, Darren makes it a point to sing a different song every night, and at the Long Island stop he sang an acoustic version of Blink 182’s “Going Away to College” and he sang the Italian (show off) “Tu Vuo Fa L’Americano.” He’s nothing if not a showman.
His new pop songs (Pheromones, Picture Perfect Girl, Any of Those Things, Words, and Once Upon a Time) are going to do well. I can already predict that he will have a top ten single, if not a number one. During Picture Perfect Girl, Darren brought a fan up onstage, as has been the deal at every concert, however this one was Nikki Thompson from Toronto, Canada. Nikki attended nine of Darren’s shows on this tour and he had told her that he would bring her up one of those nights, but wouldn’t tell her which show it would be. She admitted to me later that she was relieved that she no longer had to anticipate the moment for the last leg of the tour.
Easily, the stand out moment from this show was during “Home,” from Starkid’s A Very Potter Sequel. Darren playing piano, belting the song, giving it his all, stops and says “Sorry guys, there’s a caterpillar on my piano-” and proceeds to stop the song to take pictures of this fuzzy little “Disney” caterpillar. It succeeded in distracting him a few more times during the show. You can check out the entire song/incident here: http://youtu.be/rJHbG1TQLX0 (thanks to YouTube user Sarah Anne).
It’s also worth mentioning that he brought Charly and Margaux back to the tour from the California shows and they provided some very poignant strings to songs like Not Alone.
The show at The Paramount was a beautiful precursor to the madness that followed at Roseland.