Concert Review: Vance Joy

Vance Joy.jpg

By Glenn Blomfield

Artist: Vance Joy

Date / Venue: Wednesday March 28th: The Tuning Fork, Auckland

 It cant go without notice, that looking around me the audience was youthful, and scaled heavily more on the female side. Even the thought crossed my mind that the males could be partners dragged along for there girlfriends. As soon as Vance Joy hit the stage the female quota hit screaming joyous frenzy, at this point I realised Vance Joy has an impressive popularity, and growing swooning admirers. Vance Joy comes on stage looking like the boy next door, shirt and jeans and just his guitar, solo show. From that point on, especially for the females in the crowd he had them at "Hello". 

This was Vance Joy first headliner in NZ, sold out the ‘Tuning Fork’ venue, this kid is on the rise, as proven by his accolades from Australia Music Awards, and with his hit songs hitting the air waves. He looks and feels fresh, the beginning of what could be a big career, I couldn’t help but think of like a Ed Sheehan breaking out. Last time Vance Joy had played in NZ was at Laneway Festival 2014.

Vance Joy's first song of the evening is ‘Hold on Darling’, the room filling with joys female screams, the beginning of a repetitive theme to the evening. As I mentioned earlier, swooning admirers, Vance Joy has a connecting melancholy in his voice, his song have rising moments of powerful ballad that pulls in his admirers, that feeling of vulnerable emotion as Vance loses himself is his music. The audience seemed well rehearsed, singing along, knowing the lyrics to a lot of his new music. 

Vance Joy songs sure have a lot of familiarity compared to each other, it did feel like a wash of the similar again and again. Not sure if that's because of the solo show environment, without an accompanying band, or it's the songs themselves. Vance Joy is a talented guy, has a connection with his audience. Girls swaying lovingly along to those high wailing notes and connecting with lyrics like “I'm with you, there you are”, “She is electricity running into my soul”. In between songs there is the odd anecdote Vance Joy shares, which results in responses of "Ohhh…Cute" from the females. He is connecting and it is working, now I know I mention the female audience allot, there is definitely the males enjoying the show and singing along also.

At the evening's end ‘We're Going Home’, a poppy and melancholic song, felt more solid. At this stage I can hear comparisons to Jack Johnson or even Tom McRae. The song that synchronised the procession of phones out - 'Riptide', produced a mass singalong.

The highlight for me was the encore where Vance Joy did a cover of Bruce Springsteen's ‘Dancing In The Dark’, which seemed I was the only one singing along to the lyrics - for the first time in the evening the general youthful audience was not able to singalong. That also is the perfect summary of the evening for me. 

Vance Joy is back on these shores in September with his full Band playing at the Town Hall, tickets are on sale now.