On October 28th Vance Joy
played a sold out show at Webster Hall
. I am proud to say I was one of the audience members that lined up in the sports bar before the doors even opened, waiting to get in and get a good look at the former Australian football player. And what a good look it was. After a soulful performance from up-and- comer, Jaymes Young
, Vance and his band came out onto a dark stage to a roar of cheers and even a few "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oui! Oui! Oui!".
As the lights came up, Vance's raw vocals kicked off his show with the heartfelt tune "Emmylou" from his EP God Loves You When You're Dancing
. Immediately the audience began singing along with him. Standing in the photopit I could even see a little smile creep up on his face as the crowd sang back, "You wear your socks to bed/ Just like I do". Despite being a striking presence (he is a really really, really really really good looking man) he knows how to connect with his audience.
Between blocks of songs from his debut album, Dream Your Life Away
, he would recall small anecdotes or mentions about family, friends, or his band mates. The most touching of which came right before he began singing "Winds of Change". He told an adoring audience that he chose this song as the opener for the album because it was the first song he played for his family and friends, and the song that made him realize he wanted to peruse music. Honestly, I'm still swooning.
Constantly switching between two guitars and a ukulele, Vance Joy displayed his musical talent and incredible song writing ability, but the highlight moment of the show came when he brought out the ukulele for the second time. The entire audience knew it was time for his breakout hit, "Riptide". Unarguably the catchiest song of the year this song resonates with pretty much everyone. The song begins with the happiest little uke riff and then Vance's voice joins in with the lyrics, "I was scared on dentists and the dark". Everyone in Webster's packed Grand ballroom was thinking "Me too Vance. Me too", I know I was. Once the beat kicked in the entire room was dancing and singing the words back to the folky heartthrob. He even backed away from the mic at one point to let the audience take control of the chorus.
That must be an incredible feeling for a performer, to release your debut album and have that positive of a reception: playing for a sold out crowd in a foreign country, and everyone knows and loves your music. There's a reason that Vance Joy is nominated for VH1's "You Oughta Know" Artist of the Year. If you don't fall madly in love with Vance Joy after listening to Dream Your Life Away
you absolutely will after experiencing him live. His soft spoken nature and the sincerity of his songs connect with listeners across musical tastes. Good music is good music, and Vance Joy is incredible music. And having that face doesn't hurt. Stay tuned for more great things from this guy.