It doesn't matter if he's in front of a crowd of 60 or 600, John Reuben puts everything he's got into a show.
Reuben acknowledged the modest crowd at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. "If we would've had this show in my basement," he told the crowd, "it would've been packed."
Not that it made a difference. Reuben gave the crowd everything they could've wanted. The first half of the show featured six songs from his newest album. After performing "Sing It Like You Mean It," "Trying Too Hard" and "Curiosity," he pulled out a copy of the book Aesop for Children. He then read the tale of the grasshopper and the ant as a prelude to the version he had "updated for today's youth," "Make Money Money."
He continued on with his newest songs, pausing occasionally to throw t-shirts into the crowd.
Riding the excitement over free shirts, he broke into "Do Not," garnering the biggest response of the night. The crowd continued singing along into "Doin'," as well.
During a performance of 2002's "Thank You," Reuben's microphone slipped out of its cable. Without missing a beat, he continued rapping, reconnecting just in time for the lyric "Oh yes, the band plays on."
Addressing the crowd, Reuben asked the crowd to "act as if this is the greatest show you've ever seen" and instructed them to chant "we want more" after they left. They did just that, and as Reuben and his band mates retook the stage, he thanked them noting, "We were not expecting that!"
A normally participatory audience became a little more demanding after another of his newest, "Good Evening." The chorus's lyrics about dancing led to calls for him to "shut up and dance." Reuben, being modest about his dancing abilities, instead encouraged b-boy volunteers to climb up on stage and show off their skills.
The end of the night came in the form of lots of singing from the audience, demanding an encore. Reuben's response: "How about we just meet here tomorrow morning and do it again?"
Writer: Wes Holing