Live Review: Vance Joy in Indianapolis

Aussie singer songwriter Vance Joy’s name has been popping up everywhere recently—the radio, your playlists, and last Tuesday, the Murat Theater at Old National Center. Although most notably famous for his single “Riptide,” Vance has been pushing to get his other popular tracks such as “Mess is Mine” some airplay. Despite his relatively new claim to fame, his set was beautifully crafted and left Indianapolis wanting more.

Armstrong Lee kicked the show off by giving Indy some of their beautifully channeled gypsy vibes. Jamie Lawson, Ed Sheeran’s first sign to his record label, also made his Indianapolis debut, flexing his muscles as a regular comedian as well.

The first time he hit Old National Center, Vance Joy opened up for Young the Giant in 2014, armed with only an acoustic guitar and a curly mop of hair. After touring with Taylor Swift last year, however, he picked up a full band, including a decent collection of brass. The new contributions added an entirely new dimension to his songs not present on his recorded tracks. With more sass and more flair, they were simply more fun.

Always refreshing is an artist’s authentic modesty, and Vance Joy left a distinct impression of gratitude. The man was genuinely excited to be there, and it rubbed off on the crowd.

Joy had the rare opportunity to play almost his entire discography, leaving out only a few tracks. Rather than focusing on showcasing his evolution as an artist, however, he concentrated on the mood the songs created, and how that affected his audience. No part of the set felt abrupt or forced, but rather fluid and natural.

One of the obvious benefits of an artist writing their own songs is hearing the stories behind them, and Joy was more than happy to share. Many of his songs had complex, deep meanings, but some were very simple and relatable. Vance Joy is a storyteller, and everyone is listening.

Although there were a few empty seats in the Murat, Vance Joy is on an amazing track in his music career. He charms his audience wherever he goes, and it isn’t just because of his accent and slightly unbuttoned shirt (we see you, and we aren’t mad about it.) He truly seems to be one of those rare gems that can handle the spotlight, but isn’t ruined by the business aspect of the music industry. Wherever he goes next, a crowd of chill, indie girls is sure to follow.

-Kelly Fox

Click here for exclusive photos from the show