Vance Joy appeared at the Marquee Theatre in a sold out show on March 1, 2016. Joy has had quite 12 months – opening in arenas for Taylor Swift in 2015, radio success with songs Riptide and Fire and Flood, and sold out headlining shows across the U.S. The 28-year-old from Melbourne, Australia is currently on The Fire and Flood Tour in support of his 2014 debut album Dream Your Life Away. The Fire and Flood Tour started in Vancouver, Canada, ends in Boston, MA and is hitting a total of 40 cities along the way. Joy’s headlining shows have consistently sold out so far.
A true singer-songwriter, Joy seems to be a born story-teller. He appeared to genuinely enjoy sharing the origin stories for many of his songs during his hour-long set. Joy’s music and performance reminds us that there is still plenty of room for smart, thoughtful singer-songwriters who rely more on their lyrics than on electronic, synthesized beats. Joy, along with similar artists like James Bay, Ed Sheeran, Tori Kelly and (of course) Adelle, remind us of the power of a terrific melody and thoughtful lyrics presented in an honest, authentic way.
Joy’s presentation was generally subdued and understated throughout and his banter with the crowd was somewhat low-key. But the crowd wasn’t there for drama or theatrics – they were there to enjoy and appreciate his music. Joy’s concert was quite participatory with the audience singing along from the start with Your Mess is Mine all the way through to Fire and the Flood to close out the show. I suspect that because Dream Your Life Away has been out for almost 18 months, most of the audience has had the opportunity to enjoy it enough to know most of the lyrics. And with no new, unfamiliar (and truthfully, unwanted) material that artists are always obligated to play, the enthusiastic audience received exactly what it came for – the now familiar songs that they wanted to sing along with from start to finish.
In some ways the show also felt like an appetizer – a taste of bigger things to come. If this is the audience response to Joy’s freshman effort, I think it’s clear that his audience is ready for his follow-up sophomore album with high expectations for more of the smart, approachable, singable music that Joy gave us on Dream Your Life Away.
Review and photos by Greg Cohen
Photos © Greg Cohen 2016
The setlist included:
- Mess is Mine
- Red Eye
- Winds of Change
- All I ever Wanted
- Straight Into Your Arms
- From Afar/Wasted time
- Play With Fire
- The Best That I Can
- You Can Call Me Al/Cheerleader mash-up
- My Kind of Man
- Fire and the Flood.