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Gig Review: Vance Joy, Gossling, Teeth & Tongue, Friday May 16 @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on May 25, 2014

Words by Billie-Jean Bullard

The first time I saw Vance Joy live was at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival earlier in February this year, so when I heard he was playing at the Metro Theatre last week I have to say, I got a little excited.

A little is an understatement.

And when I found out that Teeth & Tongue (A.K.A Jessica Cornelius) and Gossling were supporting, well, that little excitement inflated like those weird expandable toys that grow in size when put in water.

The haunting and heavy Teeth & Tongue entered the stage alone, with a flaming red electric guitar. Singing songs from both her 2011 album Tambourine and her newest album released this year, Grids, Jessica flittered back and forth between guitar and keyboard.

Interestingly, she played with a backing track, creating a mystery of where the rest of her band was. Such a down to earth girl, she quirkily informs the audience of stories including a shout out to “Billy the sound guy” and her home made tights. “I don’t know if any of you noticed the gold faces on my tights? … One is happy, and one is sad”. She commended her friend for making them, then returned to creating musical magic.

After a quick stage rearrangement, Gossling came onto the stage with her band – including Alexander Burnett, and approached the microphone and her keyboard.

Honestly, I expected her voice to sound different when she spoke compared to her vocals.

This was definitely not the case.

In her childlike voice, she told the audience that it’s her job to “warm your ears up” before Vance Joy. Her beautiful harmonies with lead guitarist Alexander Barnett, were mesmerising. He was featured in songs like Songs of Summer, and they performed songs mainly from her newest album Harvest of Gold.  

There was some trouble with feedback during the set, but she handled it like a pro, battling on without a doubt and ignoring the shrill sound. She explained her ideas behind her songs – how Lover’s Spat was about a couple in a hotel room next to hers, and a cover of a Chris Issac track – which, she later revealed, she chose to cover because she thought he was hot!

Before the main event began, Gossling left bags of free sunflower seeds for the audience at the merchandise table, so we could plant our own “harvest of gold”

Welcomed onto the stage by thunderous applause, Vance Joy aka James Keough sported the same curly brown hair, button up shirt and denim jeans that I remembered from Laneway Festival. Accmopanied by his signature ukulele and on-stage moves he was lost among the small lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling and the industrial-looking “V’’s on the back wall.

Starting off his set with crowd favourites such as From Afar, he captivated the audience and I could feel the ground pulsating which contrasted his laid back, chilled nature on stage.

During the lyrical masterpiece Snaggletooth he cheekily told the audience, “don’t worry if you have one”, and Emmy Lou showcased his husky, rich chest voice and his breathtaking falsetto. The set proved that he’s one of the few artists who can sound as good live as recorded.

After thanking everyone for showing up and buying tickets, the concert concluded with the song that everyone had been waiting for. Riptide, the chart-topping hit which made him famous, got the whole audience singing, clapping along and stamping their feet once more.

Overall, the concert was a relaxed evening with beautiful music and beautiful people.

With Vance Joy’s Australian tour concluded on Friday night in Melbourne. The Aussie heads over to Toronto for Field Trip Music Festival on the 7th and 8th of June, before he plays Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and his own European tour in September/October.


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