AUSTIN – Stubb’s welcomed Australian singer-songwriter James Keogh, better known as Vance Joy, this past Monday for a sold out performance to a crowd of nearly 2000. Vance was joined by two solid openers Armstrong Leigh (Los Angeles/Austin based duo) and Icelandic folk-rock band, Kaleo, whose first American hit, “All the Pretty Girls” is swooning audiences with its haunting melody.
With a strong start from both openers, the crowd was already engaged. They were singing in chorus to songs played over the loudspeaker just minutes before Vance took the stage, and cheering loudly as stepped up to the mic, guitar in hand. On tour promoting his debut album, Dream Your Life Away, Vance is finding a lot of success this past year, with two hits already nearing the top of the charts: “Riptide” and “Mess is Mine” — both played regularly on Austin radio stations and received with open arms by the Stubb’s crowd.
Vance moved through his setlist like a pro, though stuck behind his mic for a bit too long, perhaps the only criticism one could find with his performance, to have wanted a bit more movement from him on stage to better connect with the crowd. Musically, he was right on point, and the passion for his songs was noticeable. Inspired by artists like Bob Dylan and George Harrison, Joy’s music is similarly easy listening, and carried through Stubb’s outdoor grounds, captivating the audience.
There won’t be any slowing down for Vance Joy. Last year he joined Taylor Swift as the opening act on her world tour before heading out on his own, and recently began writing his second album, which fans can expect to have a similar sound to Dream.