October 5, 2023 | ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT | By Zoe Smith
On Sept. 20, my friend and I ventured up to Denver’s Mission Ballroom to attend a concert we had been anticipating for months. One day early in the summer, I was bombarded with text after text from my friend in all caps “RENEE RAPP IS GOING ON TOUR!” She had already signed up for the presale for tickets and asked me if I wanted to go with her. The answer seemed simple, of course I did.
Reneé Rapp released her debut extended play “Everything to Everyone” in Nov. of 2022, breaking her into the pop music scene. However, this is not Rapp’s first experience in the spotlight, Rapp made her first appearance on the stage in 2019. She starred as Regina George in the Tony-nominated “Mean Girls” musical on Broadway, and after was casted as Leighton Murray in Mindy Kaling’s hit show “The Sex Lives of College Girls.”Record labels were so stunned by her performance and voice that she was quickly signed to Interscope Records.
I was a new fan of hers. After watching the first two seasons of “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” I fell into a rabbit hole. Rapp weaves emotionally powerful lyrics with a classic pop sound. In the first week of listening to her, “Too Well” was on repeat until it was engraved into my brain. In the week leading up to her concert, I felt myself jumping with excitement.
After a two-hour traffic-filled drive to Denver and a quick stop at Chick-fil-A, we had finally made it to the ballroom and secured ourselves the last seats on the balcony. Alexander 23, who opened the show came on and did an exceptional job at getting the crowd energized for Rapp. With his internet sensation song, “IDK You Yet,” and singing a cover of One Direction’s “Steal My Girl.” When he finished his set, he said, “Now I know you guys aren’t here to see just me, who’s ready for Reneé Rapp?” The crowd went wild as Alexander 23 hooped and hollered before making his way off the stage.
Just past 9 p.m., the lights in the venue go low, and silence takes over the crowd – the suspense killing everyone as seconds go by with no sign of the headliner. Then, a sharp beat of the drum and the lights come on, shining bright as Rapp steps onto the stage in a signature Denver Broncos jersey. The powerful beats of “Talk Too Much” from her latest album “Snow Angel” vibrate throughout the theater. One of her most upbeat songs, it was a great way to kick off the event, letting the crowd sing most of the song for her.
By far my favorite part of the night was when she played her song “Colorado.” After the previous song ended, instead of immediately transitioning to the next song, the instruments got quiet. Rapp looks out in the crowd chuckling, then says, “I have to say, Colorado may be my favorite place in the country. Honestly, it may be my favorite place in the world.”
The loud screams echoed around the theater as Rapp gave one last smile before singing her opening line, “I think my life might be better if I lived in Colorado.”
A versatile, multi-talented star who is quickly rising to the spotlight, I feel safe saying it was one of the best concerts I have been to. With an energetic crowd and the perfect combination of stage and interaction with the audience, I was left speechless, knowing it had been a night worth the anticipation.
With a voice that is perfect for showtunes and powerful pop ballads that uniquely showcase her capability to be vulnerable, while still making songs easy to sing along to, Rapp is a shoo-in to be an upcoming major success. I can’t wait to see what the triple threat has in store next.