Photo Credit: Matty Vogel
Last night, singer-songwriter, Alec Benjamin, offered a stunning performance alongside breakthrough pop artist, Sara Kays. The two performers gave a near-perfect performance for fans Wednesday night at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY.
Sara Kays: Opening Act
23-year-old artist, Sara Kays, opens the show, with “Backseat Rider,” a song on how relationships change over time and your partner can become a complete stranger. Kays, known for reminiscing on past relationships in her music, also tends to focus on topics like body image, loneliness, and mental health.
Recently, she was the supporting act for cavetown on tour in the UK. Now she’s supporting one of her favorite artists, Alec Benjamin, throughout the Spring across North America.
During her performance, Kays is calm, cool, and collective as she effortlessly flows through her setlist, each song offering an outlet to those who need to hear it.
You may know Kays from the leading social media platform, TikTok, where she posts snippets of songs that allow her to see fans’ reactions before releasing them. In an interview with Flaunt, she said, ‘Because of the reaction on TikTok, I decided to totally finish the song and release it within a week. I love how I’m able to test things out before releasing them and see what people think of the song.’
Before diving into her third song of the night, Kays says hi to the crowd, commenting, “First time in Buffalo…I like it … good soup.” She then leads into “Home For The Summer,” a promise-filled song about always coming home for the summer to hang out with a childhood friend.
Soon enough, Kays wraps up another classic, “Chosen Last,” and introduces the next song as ‘one she sang in her fifth-grade talent show.” Kays begins to strum her guitar and fans are hit with the country-pop ballad, The Climb by Miley Cyrus. For those that don’t know this particular song, it was Cyrus’ first solo song to be released on country radio.
Kays wraps up her set with her newest single, “Math,” and “Remember The Night?” The artist jokes that “Math” was written for exactly what it is and expressed her dislike for the subject.
Last, but not least, the pop singer finishes up with “Remember The Night?” Kays recently performed the song on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and since then the song has really taken off.
This summer, Kays will head out on her most extensive headline tour to date. You don’t want to miss it!
Alec Benjamin: Main Act
After a brief intermission, Alec Benjamin takes the stage, heading right into his nostalgic single, “Older.” The song offers a reminder of our youth and points out how much time flies.
After playing songs like, “If We Have Each Other” and “Dopamine Addict,” Benjamin comments, “I love you guys. I actually lived in NY. Second time in Buffalo first time performing here.”
The singer-songwriter has come a long way from the days of promoting his music in the parking lots of concert venues. Just last year, he sold-out shows across North America on tour. His recent successes include the introspective “Oh My God,” a song that the singer-songwriter played at the beginning of last night’s setlist. For those that are struggling with the idea of losing themselves, this song is for you.
Coined by TIME Magazine as “a pop storyteller for the next generation,” Benjamin shines through with his music by sounding exactly, if not better, live.
Known for his acoustic vibes, Benjamin is no stranger to playing the guitar. His catchy pop-song “Must Have Been The Wind,” showcases that. The tune is about supporting people, even if you don’t know them; it’s like the stranger that happens to just make your day by doing something nice.
Towards the end of the song and mid-set Benjamin makes it a point to tell people to watch each other throughout the show; he’s had shows in the past where the venue became so hot that people started to pass out. He’s also sure to note that when people scream, Benjamin isn’t sure if it’s a cry for help or a cry of excitement.
“Hipocrite,” one of the more upbeat songs on the recently released album, (Un)Commentary, is another song Benjamin plays. The song title, misspelled on purpose to be a play on the first line, “It’s hip to be a hypocrite,” combines “hip” and “hypocrite” to point out how people only act hypocritically to show off.
Benjamin then dives into what seemed like a crowd favorite given the screams, “Water Fountain.” He starts the song on the piano and finishes on the guitar and soon moves on to more crowd favorites like “Boy In The Bubble” and “Hammers.”
For the first time ever, Benjamin brings out Kays to perform his single “The Way You Felt” alongside him. The dynamic duo was flawless together as they weaved in and out of the lyrics, each taking a turn to sing.
Kays leaves the stage and Benjamin jumps in “The Book Of You And I” and then “Jesus in LA”. The singer-songwriter comments, “Maybe I’ll find what I’m looking for in Buffalo.”
A newer song to the tour life, Benjamin plays “Annabelle’s Homework.” The song is reminiscent of a time when Benjamin had a crush on someone in school. “This song is about learning the difficult lesson that you cannot buy love. I wrote this song about a time when I did somebody’s homework just to win their affection and ended up getting my heartbroken.” Benjamin says in an interview with Billboard.
Last, but not least, we finally hear Benjamin’s 2018 breakthrough single “Let Me Down Slowly.” ‘It’s just about feeling like you’re at somebody else’s mercy where you really still care about somebody, but they kind of hold all the cards…’ Benjamin tells Billboard. ‘It’s about asking for somebody to be gracious if they’re gonna leave.’
To finish up the night, Benjamin ends with “Speakers,” a song you may have heard on The Ellen Show. Watch the performance here. The song tells the story of a couple who has reminisces on their experiences in the relationship including how they fell and kept a love for each other.
Find out if Alec Benjamin is coming to your town, check out his tour dates here.
Sara Kays Setlist
- Backseat Rider
- When You Look At Me
- Home For The Summer
- Chosen Last
- The Climb by Miley Cyrus
- Smaller Than This
- “Remember That Night?”
Alec Benjamin Setlist
- If We Have Each Other
- Dopamine Addict
- Shadow Of Mine
- Change My Clothes
- Devil Doesn’t Bargain
- Oh My God
- Mind Is A Prison
- Must Have Been The Wind
- Water Fountain
- Boy In The Bubble
- The Way You Felt
- The Book Of You And I
- Jesus In LA
- If I Killed Someone For You
- Death Of A Hero
- Annabelle’s Homework
- Let Me Down Slowly
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