I didn't know who Vance Joy was a couple of months ago. Then one morning on Good Morning American I heard and saw him for the first time with the catchy tune we all have heard.
He is the young lad from Australia with that catchy tune called "Riptide" which no one heard, until it started to blow up on American radio stations. This took two years for this to happen. So he is no Overnight Sensation. This is the song, which is making him a household name around the world. On GMA he was performing it with a ukulele. The last time I could remember anyone on the radio with a ukulele was Tiny Tim. But Vance is a lot better then, Mr. Tim.
So after hearing the song I decided to go check him out live. And I was very surprise. He played at the Metro in Chicago. This was the last date of his solo tour before he heads out with Taylor Swift. The Metro is one of the best rock clubs in United States of America which has had artists as Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, X, The Bangles, The Ramones, R.E.M., Pylon, KMFDM, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Cheap Trick, Interpol, Kanye West, The Frames, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Disturbed, No Doubt, The White Stripes, The Killers, Smashing Pumpkins, James Brown, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Bob Dylan, Prince, and the list goes on, who performed on The Metro's stage. One of the iconic rock clubs in America (on this list you have CBGBs, Bowery Ballroom, The Troubadour and The Crocodile in Seattle).
I got to The Metro at 7:45, and the club was still empty. But by the time Vance Joy hit the stage it was the fullest, I have ever seen it. People were line up to the stairs, going the lower level (the performing stage is on the second flood). The Metro holds 1100 people.
The first thing that surprise me was house music which was playing before he started was all heavy FM rock music from the 70's. You have to remember that the crowd average age was 21. And I am sure that most of them never heard any of these song. Songs like Edgar Winter "Freeride." This was a hint to what I was about to listen to.
Wikipedia defines his sound as Indie pop/folk. But to me it is really 70's pop rock with a heavy acoustic guitar fronted sound. With an overlay of 2015 Bass filling in the sound. It was fun to see the crowd enjoying his every move. And if he smile at someone in the crowd that people would return the smile.
I can see that his success has not gone to his head yet. I feel that he was still humble. And now that he is starting to tour with the biggest star on the planet, Taylor Swift. I feel that he will stay that way. Because after the show even though he was going to start his biggest tour in his life. He still stay to meet and greet all the fans who waited to see him.
The setlist was the following:
Just a word in closing. I was hoping since this was the end of his solo tour, that he maybe have a guest singer come on stage with him. Well it did not happen. But overall it was still a fun show.
Story by Dan Locke, May 2015.