The Marque Theatre and Lucky Man Concerts sponsored another great show in Tempe, AZ on March 1, 2016 with an eclectic combination of talented singers and songwriters. Headliner Vance Joy had fans standing in line three blocks long to get into the venue hours before show time. The show had been sold out months ago and fans were not disappointed!
British singer/songwriter, Jamie Lawson, took the stage 15 minutes early to get the festivities started. He was the first artist to be signed to Ed Sheeran’s record label, Gingerbread Man’s Records last year. His song,” Wasn’t Expecting That” became a hit for him. His first album, Jamie Lawson, has been certified gold. Jamie played an acoustic 30-minute set featuring “Wasn’t Expecting That,” “Cold in Ohio,” and “Ahead of Myself.” We will be hearing more from Jamie in the future.
After a short break, the night took a turn toward sass, sparkle, and the spitfire songs from Elle King. The venue was busting at the seams at this point in the evening. Elle and her four-piece band took the stage starting with her song “Where the Devil Won’t Go.” She was sporting rhinestones on her forehead, a see-through black lace dress with a black leather jacket. If you’ve been to Phoenix in March, you are well aware that temperatures outside are close to 90 degrees and, if you add a packed venue to the mix of a thousand or more fans, it was sweltering hot. Elle kept the leather jacket on throughout the set. She also kept the fiery momentum going throughout the set as well!
Elle King is the daughter of former SNL cast-member, Rob Schnieder, and model, London King. Her musical influences have ranged from the Donnas, Otis Redding, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, to Earl Scruggs and Johnny Cash. All of these influences have rendered a raspy singer songwriter that uses humor, intelligence, and roots music to render some of the sassiest, freshest music around. After she sang the song, “Good To Be A Man,” she remarked ‘People got real mad at me about that song. Men and women are equally terrible though. I’m the worst person in the world.“ She followed up with “Good For Nothing Woman.” Her stage presence is irresistible with a can of beer in one hand and a sneering Elvis-like curled lip. The set ended too soon. She may not be “America’s Sweetheart” but she is a great big helping of fresh air! For a complete set list of Elle’s set, click here.
Vance Joy and his band followed next. As a woman, I might as well get the ‘elephant in the room’ out of the way first. Vance Joy is drop-dead gorgeous. It is almost distracting to look at him and I don’t want that to taint this review. His looks would certainly make him a huge hit in the movies. The 28-year old Aussie has taken record charts by storm with his hit record, ”Riptide.” He recently came off the record breaking Taylor Swift tour as her opening act.
The majority of the fans for this show ranged in age from eight to fifty years old. The tension in the crowd was high as Vance took the stage, but he seemed to take it all in stride. The fans knew the words to all of Vance’s songs and they were not afraid to sing along with resounding voices. The first song of the set was the very popular “Mess Is Mine.” He rotated between playing his guitar and ukulele during the 75-minute set. Vance did not have the most electric stage presence of the evening, but it did not seem to matter since his fans seemed to make up for the gap. Joy did a cover of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” that was a perfect fit. Vance was charming and humble. His songs are enticing. He IS the perfect package. For a complete set list, click here.
Earlier in the day Vance made an appearance in Tucson for a private event sponsored by a local radio station. He played a mini-concert and a meet and greet before making his way to Tempe. This was the 11th stop in the ‘Fire and the Flood’ tour and it is well worth catching this trio of storytellers from three separate continents.