Thursday night, students lined up to see a performance by Creed Bratton, the actor and musician famously known for his self-titled character on the NBC’s hit show “The Office.”
Performing for a packed Chamber Hall, Bratton took to the stage with a guitar, a microphone and stories to share. He walked on silently, moving to each side of the stage while strumming his guitar once he reached the end. To start the show, he began to sing what sounded like a romantic song, but was soon revealed to be a shopping list. This sort of playful humor and storytelling carried the show throughout.
Other such bits included faking phone calls over the course of the hour-long performance. After talking about a European tour, he hung up the “phone,” and said, ”apparently the Eurotrip is off, I’m going to SUNY Albany.”
While most students might not have known the words to Johnny Rivers’ 1966 song, “Secret Agent Man,” Bratton tried to get everyone to sing along to it; he was able to realize that no one knew the song and turned it into a humorous situation. This portion showed Bratton’s sense of self-awareness and by using phrases like “whippersnappers,” Bratton was able to elicit laughs to fill the age gap between him and the audience.
“I thought it was amazing,” said Aleksandra Krol, a sophomore majoring in environmental studies. “I actually didn’t know he sang that well.”
And many, such as Krol, were impressed by his singing alone. Bratton was a member of the 1960s band The Grass Roots and performed their song “Let’s Live For Today,” as well as his own solo songs, “Rubber Tree” and “All The Faces.”
“I was genuinely impressed at how great of a musician he is,” said Bernadette Machuca, vice president of programming for the Student Association and a senior majoring in biology.
As expected, the highlights of the show for many came when Bratton spoke about his time on “The Office.”
At one point, Creed began to sing what he billed as “The Office” theme. While it was not actually the iconic piano opening, the interactive song got the crowd involved, with Bratton pulling a girl up on stage to hold the lyrics and with the rest of the crowd shouting, “hey, hey, hey.” The song began with the words, “Oh let’s start at the top with Michael Scott,” while proceeding to poke fun at the members of the cast, with lines like, “Stanley with his eyes at half-mast.”
Bratton spoke about the show and his character fondly, saying that his character was an imagined version of what would happen if he never grew out of his rocker days. It provided the behind-the-scenes insight that audience members enjoyed.
“I thought it was really good,” said Matt Carrigan, a senior majoring in English. I’m a big ‘Office’ fan and he incorporated a lot of really good ‘Office’ material and then a lot of original, funny stuff, and also a lot of really good musical elements. I thought it was a really good balance of all that.”