If you had asked Darren Criss a week ago what he thought would happen when tickets for his summer tour went on sale, he probably wouldn’t have imagined how frenzied the response would be. But this weekend, tickets to Listen Up… sold out almost immediately, and the “Glee” star is feeling the pressure to put on a killer show for his fans.
"It’s pretty overwhelming. I’m really, really grateful. I’m just excited to see that people are just as excited as I am," he told MTV News. "Anytime I have any endeavor, you kind of are taking a leap of faith into something, and I’m never assuming it’s going to go well. I’m that person that generally assumes things are going to go poorly. I set such a low bar for myself.
"So I would have been happy if just a decent amount of people came to the tour, and I think there were some cities I didn’t really know if we had a presence in," he said. "And the fact that it sold out is really amazing and now I really have to step up my game cause apparently people are going to come to this thing. So now I have to ‘practice.’ "
The tour kicks off on May 29 in his hometown of San Francisco before wrapping up four weeks later in Maryland on June 30.
"Now we’re gonna step it up for sure," he teased. "It’s encouraging. You don’t really put your best foot forward if you don’t think anyone gives a s—-. So now that there’s a real palpable sense of excitement, it goes right back to us when were in the studio learning everything."
Not that the 26-year-old actor and singer/songwriter wasn’t already planning on putting on a show during the one-month jaunt across the states.
He explained, “I always feel like I got to add little more. But now I’ve got to add a little more to the little more that I was initially intending upon. I’m really, really, really excited. I come from the world of live performance. I started as a musician, mostly. Well I always was an actor too; they kind of go hand-in-hand. I never thought I would have this opportunity. It was a dream of mine to be in a smelly van with some of my best friends and playing mid-size venues for a modest fanbase. And just playing my music and just having a good time.”
In addition to playing tunes from his pre-“Glee” days, as well as his 2010 EP, Human, Criss will also be road-testing new material from his forthcoming album. And, when it comes down to picking the perfect adjectives to describe the jaunt, he’s putting his focus on all that new material.
"Fun, ridiculous and new. I was trying to be funny but I think I’ll just be straightforward with that one," he said when asked to describe the tour. "We’re playing a lot of new songs."
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