Written by Stuart Griffin
Today I’m going to talk about attending a Rachel Platten concert. It was part of her Wildfire Tour. On Saturday, March 12, I went to the Royale Boston to see Rachel. I had a VIP Meet &Greet ticket so I got there pretty early. They gave us our wristbands while waiting in line. It took about 1 3/4 hours to get into the club. Then we went up a flight of stairs to get our tickets. Then up another flight to get to the floor of the club where the soundcheck and the concert would take place.
It wasn’t long before Rachel and her drummer came out for Soundcheck. She was on keyboards. And he did percussion by drumming with his hands on what appeared to be a wooden box. They did Stand By You. Then Rachel talked about how a year ago she was playing before a handful of people. And now she plays before a big crowd. Then they did Fight Song. Only two songs, but they were her two hits which was cool.
Then we got in line for the Meet & Greet. A photographer took a Polaroid picture. They allowed about 10 seconds for it to get to Rachel and for her to sign it. During this time, we could talk to Rachel. They had another person take our phones and take a picture with it. When my came time, Rachel asked my name and greeted me. I greeted her back. They took the pictures. Then I told Rachel I loved her album and thanked her for doing the concert. She had a great smile throughout. She was really happy to meet people. The Polaroid came out good. But the picture on my phone didn’t. It was just a blob.
After I posted a picture of my Polaroid on various social media, I went in line to get my VIP merchandise. I picked up the VIP package and also got a Wildfire Tour t-shirt and beanie. The VIP package was a great one. It included a white Wildfire Tour VIP bag, a Wildfire Tour poster with a picture of Rachel, an autographed copy of the CD booklet for Wildfire, and a Wildfire Tour VIP badge (with a cool 3-D image in front and the tour dates on the back) with a lanyard.
I then staked out an area against a big circular table toward the back of the floor that people could lean against and put their drinks on. I don’t like being hemmed in so I didn’t try to get real close to the stage. Plus there were very few seats and I need something to lean against as standing too long kills my back, leg, and feet.
It wasn’t long before opener Christina Grimmie came out. She did 5 or so songs. Mostly she was on keyboards with a guitarist accompanying her. She had auditioned for the voice 2 or so years ago. The song she auditioned with was Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball”. She did that song here. She also did one of her first songs “Liar, Liar”. She has a great voice. She interacts with the crowd well. I saw her open for Selena Gomez on several dates of Selena’s 2011 tour and on one date on Selena’s 2013 tour. I have never understood why she hasn’t become more popular. The crowd liked her.
After a short break, Eric Hutchinson came out. He played some keyboards and some guitar. He was backed by a full band. He is really good live. The songs he does are fairly straightforward rock and roll. Good lyrics. He interacts well with the crowd. He did a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. He did part of another cover that I can’t remember. And he did some originals. He did 9 or so songs total.
I was standing near the merch table for Eric Hutchinson and Christina Grimmie. After his set, Eric Hutchinson came and stood by the table. He signed his CDs that people bought there. And he had a man who took fan’s phones and took pictures of Eric and the fan(s). It was cool to watch. He wasn’t charging for it.
Then Rachel came out backed by a full band. Rachel played some keyboards and some guitar. And she sang some songs singing playing an instrument. She did “Hey Hey Hallelujah”, “Beating Me Up”, “Lone Ranger”, “Angels in Chelsea”, “Congratulations”, “Stand By Me” and more from her debut album. She did a great cover of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”. She finished with a two song encore. The final song was with “Fight Song”. It is a great anthem. She pumped her fist in the air while singing it. Before “Fight Song”, she talked about how a year ago she was playing house shows before a handful of people. She had been trying to break through for several years. She hadn’t given up. She wrote “Fight Song” about continuing to fight. And it became her break through hit. There was a lot of joy in Rachel’s performance. Boston was her hometown and she loved the crowd. Really glad I saw her.
Rachel’s “Fight Song” has motivated a lot of people through it’s lyrics. It encourages people to keep on fighting regardless of whether or not anyone else believes in them. Listening to it has helped me feel more positive about things. It helps to know that Rachel struggled a long time before she had a hit in “Fight Song”. So she embodies the lyrics. Her whole album “Wildfire” is really good. The music is very catchy. I think the combination of great music and positive lyrics would appeal to many people. She is also very good live. There is a lot of joy in her performance.