Ben Platt is one of those performers that dabbles in a lot of things. He does musical theater, was on Broadway in several shows, (The Book of Mormon, thus, well, yeah I know about him from that) and he even does his own pop-style work. He was in the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” which is what made him known around my house with 3 teenage daughters.
So, when Ben Platt was announced to play in Salt Lake, with the performance in the “Book of Mormon” musical already to his name, he was going to have one very interesting show in Salt Lake City.
Event: Ben Platt
Date: September 6 2022
Venue: The Maverick Center
City: Salt Lake City, UT
Supporting Ben Platt was the duo Aly & Aj, two sisters whose music I absolutely LOVE, in fact, I adore these girls, musically, I would say if Paula Cole sang in a very harmonic Fleetwood Mac, you would have Aly & Aj.
The spectacle was to be had in the people watching for this one. One of the more diverse crowds I have ever seen that night. It wasn’t Lollapolloza but for Salt Lake, every walk of life showed up, teenage girls, senior citizens, gay men and women in droves, cowboys, and I even saw 2 goths, this evening there was something for everyone.
Aly & AJ are incredibly charming and have been performing in one form or another since 2004. They were Disney favorites for several films and have their string of singles with the doomsday titled “Potential Break-up Song” always something to look forward to.
I was looking forward to seeing these two ladies perform, and they delivered. High energy, fun, and tight set, they plowed through each song showing us that they are very devoted to their music, and fans, and very professional. They took the stage with their guitars and introduced themselves “Hi, I’m Aly, and this is my sister AJ”, and, that was all we needed. They opened with “Break Yourself”, then “Lost Cause”, they moved around a lot, singing in great harmonies, to an almost full venue. The place was full when they got to “With Love From”, and Aly was going between her piano *(not a keyboard, a real upright piano, like bar style, it was cool) and her guitar and singing.
To see these ladies on stage tearing it up was an absolute delight. They finished the set with the doomsday titled “Potential Break-up Song” always something to look forward to.
Once the lights went down, Ben Platt’s band took the stage, and they churned out the intro, with a fantastic light show, before he even got to the stage. His silhouette began to sing against a red backdrop, then a single spotlight on him for “King of the world”. The crowd went wild as he opened up, and the song grew and intensified. He went through several “hits” (his own songs, soundtracks, whatever he wanted), “Childhood Bedroom”, and “Leave My Mind”. He talked about his reasons for the song “Happy to be sad”, saying “I hitched my wagon to the most wonderful man in the world”, and talked about how he looked forward to missing him, how happy he was that in his absence, he had someone that he loved and that the pandemic made it hard, but he was glad that he had someone to miss.
Now, Ben Platt is a great dancer, I mean, he would have to be for his tenure on Broadway, and he had some great moves. There is one move I have rarely seen done well. This is to roll up on your tip toes and balance there for as long as you need, with the skill of a ballet dancer. This move is very difficult for men to do, and I have only really seen it mastered by Michael Jackson, James Brown, Elvis Presley, and now, Ben Platt. It is one of those “signature” moves that is one he should be proud of, and he is, and he let us know that, many, many times over.
He sang “I Wanna Love You, But I Don’t”, a song about real honesty in dealing with a friendship, and acknowledging it can’t really go any further. A few more songs, “Dance with you” by just saying “I want to dance with you” and that managed to get everyone dancing. Halfway through the set he said “I have two questions, First of all, is everyone having a good time?” to cheers. Then he asked “Next question, how do you all like my nails? I just got em done”, to even more cheers. He knows how to work a crowd, over something as silly as his nails apparently.
Then, he did something most awesome, and very unexpected, he welcomed Aly & Aj onto the stage with him, and they played a Fleetwood Mac cover of “You Can Go Your Own Way”, which, well, as I said Aly & AJ are exactly that kind of band. This was a very magical moment, and that bridged the performances beautifully.
I was hanging out by the sound booth when a woman came up and asked if she could get Ben’s boyfriend’s attention. She said she was going to ask her girlfriend to marry her that night and wanted to know if they could help. Unfortunately, they couldn’t last minute weave it into the show, but it would have been pretty cool if they did.
They played “You and I” by Lady Gaga, and I danced away with everyone, (I saw Lady Gaga do it live, and he does a close second, Kudos Ben).
His band was fantastic, he had 3 wonderful backup singers, and the show was incredibly tight. The fine-tuned performance tied up with “King Of The World, Pt. 3” when I was disturbed by some cheering going on behind me, I turned to see the woman on her knee, with her girlfriend in the aisle on the steps, putting a ring on her finger. I got out my phone and got a shot of it, while suddenly there was more cheering and excitement at the back of the venue around this proposal than what Ben Platt was getting. It seemed like the whole venue saw this, and gave their approval to the move. (She said yes if you must know).
He closed the set out with an encore “Imagine”, with all the love in the world going through the crowd.
Ben Platt gave a wonderful performance with top-notch production, allowing you to enjoy his musical theater, his own pop music, and “The Moves” so few can pull off. A delightful performer that the community can call one of their own. His show had sold out months ago, and, well, you can imagine why. Snag a ticket in the future if one ever is in your path.
Aly & Aj socials