Review: Vance Joy delivers beautiful and intimate harmony


Katie Bardwell

Vance’s vocals were outstanding as the strums of his ukulele meshed with the aesthetics of the stage and the energy of the crowd.

Katie Bardwell, Staff

A silhouette of a man appeared behind a black curtain. The curtain rose and the crowd cheered when the silhouette revealed itself as Vance Joy holding a guitar. He smiled, and a spotlight beamed on him as he lifted his hand to strum the first chord.

Ever since his release of his EP “God Loves You When You’re Dancing” with the popular song “Riptide,” Vance Joy has been high on the indie folk scene.

The concert was held at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie. There is not a bad seat in the theatre. It is small and intimate enough that even the seats farthest away from the stage are still close enough to enjoy each small thing happening on stage. There is no general admission, either, which makes for each seat being fair to the price paid for it (plus it’s short people friendly).

The concert started with Lovely The Band as the opening act. Their style really contrasted with Vance Joy’s. They’re more towards the alternative rock side of music, which is not what I was expecting going into the concert. The opener is supposed to get the crowd excited and warmed up for the main act, yet they seemed to be too energetic and overpowering for the style seen with Vance Joy.

Vance Joy began his set with the beautiful “Call Me if You Need Me.” He was isolated to just his voice and his guitar under a spotlight. He immediately went into “Mess Is Mine” after he finished his last strum of the song.

The stage featured seven contour drawings of a couple doing different things. The lights varied for each song and reflected the feeling you got listening to them. The stage was set perfectly for the type of music being played, with emphasis on simplicity and geometric composition.

The band behind Vance was wonderful. The trumpet player did an exceptional job with the music, especially during their covers of “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie and “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. The band also came forward for two unplugged, acoustic versions of his songs. Doing these songs unplugged was different than what you usually see at concerts, and it was refreshing to see in such an intimate setting.

Vance’s vocals were outstanding, and the strums of his ukulele meshed with the aesthetics of the stage and the energy of the crowd. In each song, he added something new you don’t hear in the recorded versions.

Although he quickly went through his songs, he always provided a story to add context to the upcoming song. However, he failed to truly have pure interactions with the audience. He differed from most performers and provided a sincere “thank you” after each song.