Arriving to the Myth shortly before doors opened I went inside, got situated and started looking at the crowd that would be in attendance last night. I had forgotten that this was an all-ages show, but this very detail actually made me even more excited for the show. I enjoy knowing that individuals of all age groups, and journeys can find meaning in music – sharing it with one another. Having originally discovered both Vance Joy and Alice Merton on Spotify in the beginnings of both of their musical journeys I had been looking forward to this night for quite some time. I found the evening to mean that much more to me because I had been following both of them from the beginning.
Merton started the evening around 7:30 p.m. lighting up the Myth with her spunky, fiery and fun attitude accompanied by a group of friends playing keys, bass guitar and drums who she had met years before at University. Beginning her set with, “Hit The Ground Running”, she showed no hesitation in her energy and excitement to bring Minneapolis an enjoyable and memorable show. About halfway through her set Merton shared a story of how it all began stating that she found a love in creating music, and each label she went to kept telling her she wasn’t good enough so eventually she decided to create her own proving everyone wrong that ever doubted her. For this particular story she created her song, “Holes”, which partly resembles her struggles during that part in her life, but also signifies her strength to not give up and continue going after her dreams. Throughout the remainder of her set Merton played a variety of songs some of which including, “Keeps Me Awake”, “Jealousy”, “Learn to Live”, and “Lash Out”. I found Merton to be very personable as she tried to share a story in between each song so fans could hear how and why that particular song fit into her life. I thought that this made her performance to be that much more enjoyable because it let listeners get to know Merton a little bit, and showed that everyone experiences an assortment of life’s obstacles regardless of where they are. Merton closed her set with her hit and first released song, “No Roots”.
Vance Joy began playing closer to 9:00 p.m. opening with, “Call If You Need Me”. I always get nervous when I’m going to see my favorite musicians because I want them to sound the same live, if not better. Therefore, my anticipation was pretty high, and even though I was very excited I found myself preparing for the unexpected. Low and behold, Joy crushed his entire set knowing how to keep the crowd entertained and involved. I enjoyed how Joy played music from both “Dream Your Life Away” (2014) and “Nation of Two” (2018) even though this tour is centered towards his new album. The flow of the songs were a nice mixture of new and old which I think helped keep the listeners that might not have been familiar with his new album pleased as well. After his opening song Joy played, “Mess Is Mine”, “Like Gold”, and “Take Your Time”. In this grouping Joy talked of relationships, and all of the emotions they often entail whether they be past or current. Individuals are often overwhelmed by an assortment of emotions, and each of these songs resemble just that. Joy then played “Alone With Me”, “Fire and the Flood”, “I’m With You”, and “Little Boy”. Before playing “Little Boy” he shared a story of when he was a little boy, and after getting a tooth knocked out he had to get it replaced. Unfortunately the tooth was large when comparing to his others so it was more noticeable than he would have wanted. In closing, he was at his first night club when he turned 18, and that was the day he found out his tooth could glow in the dark. I enjoyed hearing this story as many of his fans did because it not only shared a little bit of Joy’s life with fans, but showed the “free-spirited child” that associated with the song as well. Joy then played songs such as “Bonnie & Clyde”, “Wasted Time”, “Georgia”, and “One of These Days”. At this point I was expecting an encore of some sort, but I actually really enjoyed that Joy just continued to play as sometimes I think it’s better to just keep the music flowing. In his closing grouping Joy played, “We’re Going Home”, a cover of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” with a snippet of “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, “Riptide”, and “Lay It On Me”. I wasn’t aware that Joy had created a cover of Richie’s song, and I was really pumped when I heard him start to play it. I thought that this was an incredible part of the show as a majority of the audience was dancing, and really just enjoying themselves. Joy did incredible on this cover, and I think he really bridged the obvious age gap in the audience with adding in a snippet of Bieber’s “Sorry” as well. Joy finished the night with an enjoyable song speaking of the trials of the dating world, “Saturday Sun”, which is from his new album.
Overall, I really enjoyed this concert as I felt both artists did a wonderful job. I love when artists get the crowd involved or the crowd just knows their songs so well that the whole night ends up being a sing-a-long. There were a few moments I found myself getting chills almost crying because I thought it was incredible how Joy could stop singing, and the crowd just continued without him. It was an exciting experience, and I loved the atmosphere as everyone was friendly –there to enjoy and connect with a style of music that falls close to their hearts. Another thing that I find to be a favorite of mine is how meaningful, and relatable both Joy and Merton’s lyrics are to our day to day lives. This music is something I can almost always relate to, and more times than not it lifts my spirits because at times you may feel like someone truly understands. Music is raw. Music is love. And when I find artists that encompass that I often don’t let them go. Therefore, Joy and Merton will definitely be on my radar for the next time they’ll be in the area because I don’t think I could ever pass it by.