Lea Michele & Darren Criss LM/DC Tour: Hammersmith Apollo, London
2nd December 2018
Any fans of Glee will remember Rachel Berry and her desire to hit the stage big time. Well this sold out arena tour proves that Lea Michele, the actress who played Rachel has certainly achieved this. Along with Darren Criss, another favourite from the 2009-2015 hit series, Blaine Anderson, who has made a a name for himself as a singer, songwriter as well as an award winning actor.
Lea Michele is well -known for her powerful singing voice and is a accomplished actress and singer. She has starred in many musicals on Broadway including Spring Awakening, Ragtime and Les Miserables. Darren Criss also has never been too far from the stage having starred in Broadway in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hedwig and The Angry Inch. He also co-founded Elsie Fest which is referred to as “New York City’s first outdoor music festival celebrating tunes from the stage and screen”.
Lea Michele has not been on tour since her intimate tour in North America in 2017. Darren Criss has recently released his first solo album ‘Homework‘ and also performs with his indie-pop band Computer Games. He also has not performed in the UK recently making the LM/DC Tour particularly special for fans. With only one London date it sold out quickly and the buzz could certainly be felt in the electric atmosphere filled auditorium.
For two former Glee stars obviously there were bound to be some Glee songs and those that they did perform were all amazing. It was brilliant to see some of the well-known songs performed live, often with a different style or arrangement. One of the highlights of the night was Lea Michele’s ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade‘ which was outstanding! The power behind her voice and the rich tone is completely unique and she seems to be capable of anything. As well as some of her well-loved covers from Glee, she also performed some of her own tracks from her albums including ‘Cannonball‘ which again demonstrated her incredible talent. Listening to her was truly magical – she definitely has a one-of-a-kind voice and the little snippets of information about her life in between the songs were lovely to hear. The interaction between both performers and the audience was also fantastic, with many audience members having travelled for a long time, even from other countries, this added an extra special touch.
Darren Criss readily confesses that he didn’t originally plan to be in musical theatre and prefers rock, indie music. His set consisted of a good range of songs from Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only You Know’ to his own penned songs from his solo album ‘Homework‘. His voice lends itself beautifully to this indie style of music and his belt and power is superb when he sings the more musical theatre style songs. His indie arrangement of ‘Teenage Dream‘ was incredible as was his original take on ‘I Dreamed A Dream‘ from Les Misérables. The fact that he accompanied himself on the piano or guitar just added to the overall effect.
Both performers are brilliant but when you put them together they create something magical. Their version of ‘Falling Slowly’ from Once was gorgeous as was their rendition of ‘Shallow‘ from A Star is Born. Opening with ‘Suddenly Seymour’ from Little Shop of Horrors they performed a number of songs together from a range of musicals, Glee and their own albums, all of which sounded gorgeous as their voices complimented and blended together. ‘This Time’ which was Rachel’s last song on Glee and written by Darren for the show was heartfelt and definitely brought a tear to the eye. For the finale number they sang ‘Make You Feel My Love’ with just Darren’s guitar for accompaniment and no microphones. It was silent in the massive 3,500 seater auditorium and even the back row could hear as Lea and Darren used their undeniable talent to project and sing the song beautifully.
Lea Michele has something magical about her voice, totally unique, full of rich, deep tones with the ability to belt for days and yet just as quickly sing softly and delicately. Darren Criss’ vocals are also wonderful to listen to and his original arrangements of well-known songs are so clever. The LM/DC Tour was certainly a one-off and was a joy to be able to witness such talent!