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Preview: Ben Rector w/ Brady Toops

February 7, 2017

Student Activities invites many artists and performers to come to the World’s Most Exciting University, but getting a “Yes!” from Ben Rector made us happier than usual. Join us on Saturday, February 18 in the Vines Center to see Ben perform with special guest Brady Toops. Here is what you need to know about tickets:

  • Tickets are on sale now. Just visit our website here*, click the “Tickets” tab, and choose the option that is right for you.
  • For you students, general admission tickets are just $15.
  • If you happen to be part of the non-student general public, tickets are $20 in advance.
  • If there are tickets left at the door, the price will be $25.
  • There was a time when you could get floor seats, but that time is past. Floor seats are sold out.

Ben Rector is a nice man with a nice voice. He makes nice songs that are nice to listen to. His style, in his own words**, is “just kinda like pop”, which is true because like most piano/acoustic guitar/possibly an electric guitar pop, it is as easy and light as a spring breeze. The nice thing about Ben Rector is that he is casually self-aware, as evidenced by many of his videos, especially his self-deprecatingly endearing “Ben Rector Hits the Streets” album previews***. That aspect of his personality drives his musical style and allows him to move easily between topics and themes on his 2015 album, Brand New, his biggest release to date. (It debuted at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 that August, but beat all challengers on the folk album chart, reaching all the way to #1.) Yes, the album is predominately light, but there is plenty of space on the album for introspection and reflection, or in the case of a song like “30,000 Feet”, reflection on another character’s introspection. Brand New is much less love song-y than previous efforts and is more of a musician’s travel diary, recalling events and experiences but always with an eye towards goodness that can effect positive change. There is a John Mayer-like quality to Ben’s music, but more of an alternate timeline John Mayer who went through abstinence-only education and actually stuck with it. That is to say, Ben comes across as pure but without necessarily coming across as overtly “Christian”; his lyrics are honest enough to reveal a heart that truly desires change, without stooping to use that honesty in a heavy handed or manipulative way. In a word, he is really nice, and we cannot wait for him to finally headline a show here at Liberty.

Joining him will be former The Bachelorette (season 11) contestant (is that what they’re called?), Brady Toops, whose soulful and smooth voice alone should have been able to woo Britt, but that is just our opinion. Be sure to check out his worshipful album, conveniently self-titled for your iTunes or Spotify searching needs.

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**From “Ben Rector Hits the Streets with Brand New”, 2:36 mark -