Stars: 5/5

Do you miss going to concerts and live shows? I know I do. During times like these, I miss live music the most. I think about the upcoming concerts that have been postponed for the next year and I get sad. If you’re feeling down about COVID restrictions putting a damper on your possible future concerts, Rex Orange County’s new live album will make you feel like you’ve just stepped foot into a concert hall, or in this case, Radio City Music Hall. 

In times when we miss live music the most, this EP is quite literally a godsend. I was bummed that I didn’t get to see Rex on his “Pony” tour but this album does a great job of making me feel like I never missed it. 

The album "Live at Radio City Music Hall" consists of 8 of Rex’s most popular songs, including an intimate cover of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” because what else would you sing to a sold-out crowd at Radio City?

What I like most about this album is that Rex didn’t cut the banter out from the songs. Some tracks include clips of him talking with the audience which I think makes you feel like you’re part of the crowd whether you were really at the show or if you listened to it in your bedroom. 

My favorite Rex song changes daily and this album definitely has me switching back and forth between tracks. The live standouts for me from this album include “Pluto Projector” and “Best Friend.” These are two of my all-time favorites, but the songs really do sound better live. “Pluto Projector” has been my favorite since it came out as a single for the album “Pony.” It’s more of a ballad with an orchestral build-up and I’ve always thought it would sound great live. I wasn’t wrong, and Rex did not disappoint with his performance this song. 

“Best Friend” is another live standout. The part that stood out to me on this track is when Rex stops the song halfway through to tell fans to put their phones down and enjoy the last few minutes of the song. He asks his fans to not record it for a more memorable and intimate experience, then he asks them to “lose their minds” with him on the last chorus, and lose their minds they did.  

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If having a live album isn’t enough to immerse you into an artificial concert experience, then you should also take a look at Rex’s 25-minute concert documentary that he dropped to accompany this album. The film highlights different shows from the “Pony” tour with footage from each concert which will make you feel like you’re there. 

If I can’t get out to see Rex in person, this live album and documentary are the next best things. I may be biased because I am a bit of a die-hard Rex fan, but there isn’t a bad thing I can say about this album. Rex released this album at a time when fans needed it the most and I’m so grateful he did. It made me miss live shows, but it also made me so eager for my first concert after quarantine ends.

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