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Visiting Radio City from your TV

Netflix’s recording of the final concert on Ben Platt’s debut tour at New York’s Radio City Music Hall is a perfect amalgamation of the joy of theater and melodic pop music. 

Throughout the concert, Platt sprinkled in light dialogue to reveal the various backstories behind each composition. From detailing some of his prior relationships to offering up random facts about himself,such as that he dislikes peanut butter and that he thinks cats are “the devil’s children.” 

While “Share Your Address” and “Take Me to the Pilot” (an Elton John cover) were enhanced by impressive lighting design and choreography, more meaningful songs, like “Older” and “Ease Your Mind,” were performed soulfully and prompted the audience to join in during the choruses. 

He prefaced “In Case You Don’t Live Forever” with a tale of his recently deceased grandmother. Also, he dedicated the final song of the night, “Run Away,” to his parents, playing with fewer orchestrations than it had on the album. He performed it on piano and was accompanied by two string players.

The highlight of the night was certainly “Honest Man,” when Platt let his voice travel to a falsetto even higher than that on the album. However, Platt’s voice wasn’t the only one worth hearing; there were also those of his three backup singers. After “Share Your Address,” Platt went offstage for a quick break, which his backup singers took over the stage by repeating the chorus, with one even taking the chorus up an octave.

Regardless of your familiarity with Platt’s music career, seeing him live is nothing on which anyone should pass. The fact that Netflix filmed a live performance of his and put it on their streaming platform for millions more to see is amazing. Coupled with the fact that there is a pandemic unfortunately requiring everyone to stay home, this performance is worth a watch.

 

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