Sunday Evening turned into a family event at Mill City Nights. Rachel Platten’s Wild Fire tour promoting her new album came to town. The place was packed with teens, younger kids and their parent alongside more typical fans.
Opening the night was Hunter Hunted, an indie pop band from LA. Made up of Michael Garner and Daniel Chang they had just joined the tour. Wearing matching coveralls, they got the crowd quite engaged by the end of their set.
Next up was Eric Hutchinson. After starting off behind a keyboard, he grabbed his guitar, emerged from behind it and things heated up in a hurry. Dressed in black suits and white shirts his band may look like bible salesmen but their religion is funk. As Hutchinson put it: “If you did not come out to sing along and have a good time, then why did you come out?” The crowd sang along and those who did not know his song got thrown a gimme with a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it up”. I found his set to be one of the most entertaining I have watched in a while.
After a quick set change it was time for Rachel Platten. Judging by the cheers when the lights went out and a dramatic synthesizer into began to play, the crowd was more than ready for her. Platten opened with a number from “Wild Fire” “Beating Me Up” and within a few seconds had the audience firmly in her grasp. Her success has been years in the making and she build on the chance that her breakout hit gave her. Her current tour is very popular with most dates sold out. She mentioned to the crowd that she was a bit exhausted but felt energized by her fans. A very unique moment came during “Better Place” when a couple from the audience joined her on stage for a marriage proposal. Platten seemed absolutely giddy with joy, jumping and squealing (a bit) when it was accepted. (Thanks to our reader Patrick for catching the wrong song title).
Closing the evening was of course “Fight Song” which the crowd roared back at Rachel Platten. Overall a great performance with lots of energy that matched well with her audience even though many were less than half her age. But her reach went well outside her core fans as well. Overheard outside the venue was one Dad, baseball cap, cigarette hanging from his mouth: “You know that Rachel? She’s pretty cool.”
Set List: Beating / Lone Ranger / You don’t know my Heart / Lonely Planet / Better Place / Love Yourself (Justing Bieber Cover) / Angels / Congrats / Speechless / 1000 Ships / Hey Hey / Stand By You Encore: Don’t You Worry Child / Fight Song