Ben Burgess’ final song at The Novo theater in LA this week was “Started A Band,” the perfect closing number for a guy who spent his joyful opening set in support of Koe Wetzel looking like he was the happiest, luckiest dude on the planet. As he said:
“This one’s for all of you out there who want to write songs and play them on stage.”
That last phrase, “… and play them on stage,” seemed especially meaningful to Burgess, a successful and prolific songwriter with credits writing for a broad range of artists from the Jonas Brothers and Li’l Wayne to Dierks Bentley, The Cadillac Three, and Morgan Wallen.
At 37 years young, Burgess finally got the chance to be that guy on stage thanks to his record deal with Big Loud and his upcoming debut album release next month. And it’s hard not to root for him.
And Burgess couldn’t help but shake his head in disbelief and grin when the LA crowd sang the songs back to him on stage.
The look in his eyes for “Started A Band” was different, though. The grin and loose, animated posture gave way to focused eyes and some extra passion in his voice. It was clear that this song was about him and his long, grinding path behind the scenes, chasing a dream that was finally starting to come true for him.
And as if the crowd needed any more reasons to become Ben Burgess fans, he hung around near his merch table all night, shaking hands and snapping photos with whoever wandered over (including a heavily sauced-up version of myself who, predictably, failed to hydrate enough during Koe’s set).
As Burgess said earlier in the show, “I’ve been hiding under a rock for 15 years as a songwriter.”
And I think we’re all happy he emerged from under that rock to take his shot with his own band behind him for a change.
We’re all rooting for you, Benny.
And when that album drops September 30th, I’ll be firing up “Started a Band” and sharing the universal joy we’re all chasing when dreams come true.