Last night, the line populated by anxious concert-goers waiting to get into Philadelphia’s historic Trocadero Theatre started at 10th and Arch Streets, traveled up 11th, then went two more blocks to just beyond Cherry Street. Numerous curious pedestrians stopped and asked, “What is everyone waiting in line for?” The answer: to see Christina Grimmie, Eric Hutchinson, and Rachel Platten!
Over the next half hour, 1200 fans packed in for the sold-out concert event. The audience ranged from young children – who were asleep before the end of the night – to hip seniors who still have excellent taste in music. Rachel, Eric, and Christina are a trio of phenomenal artists who manage to maintain a family friendly vibe with language and content, but perform with such a sizzling ferocity that they truly appeal to audiences of all ages.
Grimmie took the stage first. She quietly sat on a stool with her laptop in front of her and simply tapped a key. The massive backing sound filled the venue and Christina did what she does best... She sang! Grimmie blew the minds of the crowd with a voice so powerful it had all four judges of NBC’s “The Voice” battling to win her favor when she appeared on the show. After killing it with her rendition of “Wrecking Ball,” she moved to the Kurzweil and showed off her keyboard skills before inviting her brother, Mark, to join her on guitar and finish off a flawless 5-song set.
Eric was up next, his backdrop proclaiming “Eric Hutchinson is pretty good.” The words were an understatement. Eric has shared the stage with such illustrious artists as Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix. His music is a crisp, buoyant rock that is strongly influenced by the best of pop. His ability to connect with the audience is unparalleled. When he wasn’t hopping up an down, having the time of his life on stage with his fellow bandmates, Eric was making direct eye contact with as many of his fans as possible. By the time he slipped into a surprise rendition of “Shake It Off,” the room was entirely his! Still not satisfied, the dazzling performer left the stage and sang from the center of the crowd, ensuring that this was a night that would never ever be forgotten by those in attendance.
The roar that filled the venue when Rachel Platten took the stage was absolutely deafening. Her outfit was stunning, choreography exquisite, and her lighting had the best, most innovative design you are likely to see throughout all of 2016... and beyond! Visually, her show was exemplary. Yet, it was truly all about the songs – every element of everything that Rachel did was done to further enhance the music, never to detract from it. Even though the artist confessed to her fans that she was ill and could barely talk, it didn’t seem to hurt her singing voice one bit. If anything, knowing that she was hurting, unified the crowd and elevated the energy of the room to miraculous heights. The rest of the world and all aspiring performers should take note, this is what it looks like to be a real star. Rachel has done it right. She is a remarkably talented artist who has not compromised who she is to achieve her dream. As a matter of fact, it is who she is that makes her a star. Love and pure joy radiated from Rachel the entire time she was on stage, there was never a moment when she was anything less than perfect.