By Molly McCoy
On Thursday October 5th Ben Rector kicked off his “The Old Friends Acoustic Tour” at the Sandy Amphitheater in Salt Lake City, Utah. Thursday night proved to be a perfect evening with crisp fall weather setting in and a night under the stars filled with music.
Jordy Searcy was first to take the stage, he had a great personality and was able to connect well with the crowd. He played his popular “Love and War in your 20’s” which gained a lot of popularity on Tik Tok this last year. At one point he jokes with the crowd about how he met a girl and they started dating, then life happens as it usually does and now… they’re engaged. He then introduced his next song called, “Clean the House” where he picked a fan to hold the phone as he facetimed his fiance before singing the song. Not only does Jordy have a great voice but during his song “The End of Us” he played a very technical guitar solo that really showed off his skill as a musician and won a ton of cheers from the crowd. He ended the night with his song “Favorite Days” prefacing it with the story of how this song was written to remember to appreciate the season you’re in instead of wishing for a new one.
Ben Rector was up next and the crowd was ecstatic. Joined by Jordy Searcy and Austin Goodloe, the night was set to be a memorable and intimate experience. Ben has come to Utah a few times on tour and sells out every show anytime he stops here. He told the crowd that when talking to his manager about this tour they set two dates in Utah a little worried that not as many people would come to an acoustic tour. He then happily revealed to the crowd that not only did both nights sell out but also sold the most tickets of the tour.
The night progressed with Ben singing a variety of newer songs and some older ones as well. Ben Rector shows double as a concert as well as a comedy show, he was so funny the entire night making jokes and telling funny stories throughout the night. At one point he even did a Q&A with the crowd. Something I appreciated about his Q&A is that he didn’t just choose people in the front row but answered questions from people in the very back of the venue. After his Q&A session his fellow band members joined him back on stage to continue the performance.
As the night continued songs like “Living my Best Life” and “Sunday” from his recently released “The Joy of Music” album were sung. His bandmate Austin, freestyled a part of Sunday on the piano, Ben mentioned that he does this every night but it’s always a completely different arrangement, paying tribute to his talent as a musician. They played a few covers as well including; “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” and the cutest medley of Little Mermaid songs accompanied with a choreographed dance from Ben and Jordy. The night ended with the song “Brand New”, after leaving the stage and coming back for the encore Ben played the song he had written for the state of Utah. He revealed to the crowd that he started writing these songs as a way to spark creativity in an age of writing songs to fit social media algorithms. The crowd ate up every second of the song, cheering often as he would reference common Utah things.
It goes without saying that Ben Rector is a state treasure in Utah as fans will jump at the opportunity to see him whenever his tour stops here. With scattered dates across the country from now until December 1st, this is a tour you’ll want to be sure you attend. Whether he’s
performing with a big band or in an acoustic setting like this tour, you’ll leave the venue feeling as though you made a new friend. Between his ability to connect with a crowd and his musical talent and vocal performance Ben Rector is one you don’t want to miss out on.