Video Review: Ben Rector “Brand New”

Against a khaki background, Ben Rector addresses the audience. He explains that his record label wanted a music video made for the single. He chose to spend the video’s budget on flying six fans to Six Flags Over Texas in Dallas “because rollercoasters.”

From his phone, there is a photo taken of his tweets asking fans if they would like to go to Six Flags with him and to make a video. On his laptop, he Facetimes with the fans he chose. They cheer and one female fan says she’s shaking. They land in the airport.

Title screen reads: 2 Days Later

From the hotel, Rector drives people to the amusement park. He gives a thumbs up to the camera. At a restaurant, a man wears a plastic chicken on his head and squawks, flapping his arms. The group claps. The man’s sinks his shoulders. Rector waves the camera as they approach the entrance. He buys a pair of American flag-themed sunglasses. Rector stands by the poster, which shows the employee dress code.

On the first rollercoaster, the Pandemonium, everyone waves and they take off. During the second rollercoaster ride, Rector puts his arms in the air as they go through the tunnel.

Between rides, they run and dance in the park.

After finishing a ride, he exchanges high-fives with the fans and says hello the ones in the back of the cart. On the ride, Rector and a female fan put their hands up in order to be checked.

They play carnival games and win huge stuffed animals, which one fan tosses in the air. At Red River Funnel Cakes, they are served a waffle with whipped cream on the sides and strawberries in the middle.

The track is shown for one of the rollercoasters.

On the water ride, Rector sits in the back, massaging a fan’s shoulders. At the carousel, he holds onto one of the golden poles and rides one of the horses. He buys a picture of himself on the rollercoaster for a souvenir.

They ride the Gunslinger.

On the rollercoaster, Rector puts his arm all the way out and the female fan kindly moves it out of the way. He holds his water bottle and stuffed unicorn. While they ride the rollercoaster, he tells the female fan next to him he’s going to pass out.

He runs into the water. They all play Whack-A-Mole.

Against a khaki background, Rector explains that he received notes that it “wasn’t music video-y enough” and added in concert footage.

He performs on stage. A marquee announces the show, stating its sold out. With his back to the audience, he spreads out his arms. The audience follows.

They leave the park with their airbrushed t-shirts saying their name and Brand New. At the end, they pose for a group photo.

Rating: 5/5

It’s a triple bucket list moment: 1) tweet a celebrity  and talk to them over Facetime. 2) spend the day with them at an amusement park 3) and get featured in their new music video. Not many people can claim the same experience.

There’s no better way spent, after sweating and nearly wanting to vomit after too many rides, to get to know someone than at an amusement park. By the end of the day, Rector and his fans have bonded. They eat bad food, ride a ton of rides and goof around. A degree of comfortability develops: one fan moves his arm away from her, he massages a fan’s shoulders. Perhaps by the end of the day, a few new friendships were made.

Overall, it was something he really wanted to do. He could’ve had actors but he chose regular people instead. By preferring their company over hired actors for the day, he wanted to meet new people and interact with those not in the business.

Director: N/A Year: 2016

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