Top 10 Songs Featuring Ben Fankhauser (By 10 Different Composers)
Do you ever follow what songs your favorite broadway singers sing and you think they just make the song sound 10x better because you just love their vocals so much? I do, and Ben Fankhauser is one of those singers for me. His voice is insanely gorgeous, limitless, and as Natalie Weiss describes it, “His voice is like butter,” (and I totes agree).
Having great vocals is one thing, but giving a heartfelt performance is another, and he definitely serves you both. I am such a huge supporter of contemporary musical theater and I just love it every time Ben gets to sing songs from these amazing composers. I am just gonna share my top 10 fanking favorite performances of Ben Fankhauser:
10. "Fireworks" – Zack Zadek
Let’s start with this heavy song by Zack Zadek that is based on the story of Speaking Of Courage by Tom O’Brien which tells the story of Norman Bowker who has returned home after serving in the Vietnam war. He drives around the lake on the fourth of July thinking about his life before and after the war. He sings about his father, his ex girlfriend Sally who is now married, his best friend Max who died in the lake, and how much he wishes he could talk to them about his experiences in Vietnam. That’s a lot to take in one song!
This song has a wide range of notes and Ben hits them all perfectly, from the lowest notes to that sexy falsetto! The melody carries the story along and what an emotional journey it is to see him take it all on.
9. "Halo / You Will Be Found" – Beyonce / Pasek & Paul, arr. Ben Fankhauser
Who doesn’t love You Will Be Found from Pasek and Paul’s Dear Evan Hansen!? NO ONE. If that wasn’t your jam at one point in your life, you’re missing a lot. What a joy it is to hear Ben sing one of the most beloved theme songs on broadway right now mashed up with Beyonce’s Halo (I see "Benonce" in this video!)! Plus, he’s singing it with Natalie Weiss. Hail, Riff King and Queen of Broadway.
He performed this in his first ever solo concert which he musically arranged, and I also love the fact that he chose to play the piano for this song. Such an amazingly talented guy!
8. "The Spark" – Kooman & Dimond (The Enlightenment of Percival Von Schmootz)
I love Kooman & Dimond’s Out Of Our Heads album so much, so when I found out that Ben was going to be part of this concert, I was thrilled!
Just like this song, Ben is a SPARK to some of us: whenever we feel sad or blue, we play a song sung by him and then everything seems alright again. I mean look at him perform this song with that sweet angel voice and sparkling eyes. If that didn’t make you smile, then I don’t know what will. But this song also encourages us to be the spark to everyone who needs light in their “dark ages”.
(He also performed a heartbreaking song by Kooman & Dimond called "The One Who Got Away". Moving on is hard especially from someone you really love.)
7. "Validation, as a Rule" – Ryan Scott Oliver (Three Points of Contact)
From loving yourself to hating yourself! From a sweet angel boy who was the spark to everyone and then someone who fanking hates himself. He is 110% dedicated to making you feel the amount of hate the character has for himself that it makes you wanna hug him, but you also find it adorable cause that’s just the way Ben is.
This is just one of his performances from this concert with Ryan Scott Oliver. He performed at least 4 more songs (based on what I saw on Youtube. lol), 3 of which he performed with Britney Coleman and they are so freakin cute together. You should check them out, it’s amazing.
6. "Gone" – Michael Mott (Where The Sky Ends)
Ben has performed this Michael Mott song a few times already. It also has 5 versions of remixes which you can find on Spotify!
There was this another video on Michael Mott’s Youtube where Ben sang a song with Shauna, Bruce and Lindsay and they were all wearing black and I loved it so much. That performance is stuck in my head I wish I could watch it again and share it with you but just like the name of this song, that video is GONE.
Losing friends and burning bridges are one of the saddest and hardest things in life, but sometimes it’s necessary. It happens. Of course we can never deny the pain we go through in times like this. Letting that friend know how we feel is one part of the process of moving on. Ben wonderfully expressed that feeling in this performance, and man, the amount of RIFFS in this song is so fanking rich!
(He has also performed another song by Mott called "Just Like Me".)
5. "It Could Totally Happen" - Dan Acquisto & Sammy Buck (Like You Like It)
I wish I could perform this with Ben someday. I think most of us can totally relate to how sometimes we get so shy when talking to our crushes, it seems so hard to just say “hello”, let alone start a conversation with each other.
I love this performance because you could totally see how awkward they are toward each other, but they are also very much in love. How adorable!
4. "Love Me, Love Me Not" – Joey Contreras
Happy 10 years to this song by Joey Contreras! I celebrate this song by listening to Ben’s version which I totally love. What you don’t know, Ben, is that we would do anything for you. Yup. We’re not wanting anybody else today but you!
The way he begs you to stay?! How could you say no to that!? Plus the incredible ride of those riffs??? Oh, and look at those eyes! So much truth, heart and soul! Love you, Love you much!
This isn’t the first song he performed by Contreras. He first sang "Great, Cool" with Blake Daniel. That one is something else. Two characters showcasing different reactions in one song, I’m speechless. He was also part of the charity single "Constellation".
3. "Kiss The Air" – Scott Alan
I feel so hurt watching him sing this song. That’s all I can say. It’s beautifully tragic. It made my heart cry, I felt his emotion in every bone of my body. The way he sang it is just pure and honest. Thank God he’s only sung one heartbreaking song by Scott Alan, imagine him singing “Again”... I probably wouldn’t be able to get on with my life (but also that would be great because another song sang by Ben is a gift).
(Another non-heartbreaking Scott Alan song he performed was "Over The Mountains", so please, by all means, sing more of Scott’s songs and I will do anything, just to stay, alive.)
2. "Run Away With Me" – Kerrigan-Lowdermilk (The Mad Ones)
THIS ONE IS A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ME. I have been waiting for him to sing this song and thankfully Kait and Brian heard my prayer and made it happen. I love how different his attack on this song is. It is very passionate and speaks right to your soul as you simply look deeply in his eyes. There is so much in there and according to Krystina Alabado watching him sing this song to her in rehearsals made it so hard for her not to melt into the floor. I feel for you, Krystina.
This is definitely one of my favorite versions of this song. NO BIAS! (his and Aaron’s are definitely my top faves) That “country song” part is lovely, so original and clean which makes my knees weak. I wish Ben could finally get to do The Mad Ones if they get to do a re-run of the show.
(He also just recently recorded a new song by Brian called "Song Of The Summer". More K&L songs by Ben, please! Thanks, loves.)
1. "Belief" – Alexander Sage Oyen
And last but not the least!!! "Belief" by Alexander Sage Oyen. This song is the reason I became a huge fan of this amazing performer. I know I probably have said this so many times in this article but what can I do, he really gives so much emotion and truth to every song he performs which makes it very special to those of us who listen to him. Once you started watching this video you can’t take your eyes off of him, he just captivates you entirely that he takes you with him in his journey through this song. It’s mesmerizing. We all know he can’t help but riff in every song he sings but he always keeps it fresh.
(He once also performed "Gods Among Men" (or more like "God of Riffs Among Men") with Michael McCory.)
Of course the list doesn’t end here, honorable mentions are “Where I Fit In” by Yandura & Melocik, “Girl, You’re Freakin’ Out” by F. Michael Haynie, “So I Stay” by Braverman & Hassler, “To Kiss A Girl” by Lindenfelzer and Carey, and in October he’ll finally get to be part of Drew Gaspirini’s cabaret concert! I can’t wait for that!
How about you? Which ones are your favorite performances by Ben Fankhauser? From which composers would you like Ben to grace with his beautiful riffs and beautiful eyes? Let us know!
P.S. Hi Ben, We are all waiting for your solo album! So exciting!