Vance Joy @ The Tivoli, March 6th

In the summer of 2013 I decided to take some singing lessons which turned out to be a lot of fun, however the 45 minute drive to and from was something that I always dreaded. That was until I bought Vance Joy’s God Only Loves You When You’re Dancing EP. I’d wake up at 7am, my vocal chords dry and groggy from sleep, whack on the CD in the car, and by the time I arrived at her doorstep, they were well and truly warmed.

Following the success of his debut album, Vance Joy, has been stealing hearts all over the word, and tonight I have the pleasure of catching him on the Brisbane leg of his Dream Your Life Away tour. The Tivoli has a nice feel to it tonight, a small crowd gathers as local Brisbane songstress Airling and her band take to the stage. It takes me a while to get into her music, but as she moves through her set onto The Runner and Wasted Pilots, I start to appreciate the ethereal complexity to her work. Her falsettos are faultless, but I’m left hungry for a little more soul.

As the masses thicken, #1 Dads AKA Tom Iansek sweeps us off our feet through a gorgeous arrangement of music. His solo work is more stripped back than Big Scary, though he still delivers  a familiar concoction of sentiment and cheer. Airling returns to the stage to fill in for Ainslie Wills on So Soldier and their own track, God Can Promise.

The lights fade and the soothing sounds of The National ooze from the venue speakers. There is no pushing, no loud, obnoxious punters; only soft chatter and the shared feeling of excitement and anticipation. Vance Joy enters the stage with a giant smile and a hot cup of tea (I suppose this is his method of heating up the ol’ esophagus). We watch on as he plays From Afar, First Time and Red Eye. The band work together to create a raw and expansive sound that rises and falls. Halfway through he stands alone to play a goosebump-inducing version of Bruce Springsteen‘s  Dancing in the Dark, showcasing his rich affluence as a folk singer. Riptide is great, but it’s not his best by far. He finishes with Play With Fire and a cover of Chains by Fleetwood Mac.  When he leaves, my bones are aching from standing in the same spot for three hours but my eyes could go on watching forever. The quality of the music is one thing, but the atmosphere it leaves is another.




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