review

Review—Vance Joy: Nation of Two Tour Melbourne

September 18, 2018

Monique O’Rafferty

On September 15, Vance Joy brought his Nation of Two Tour to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, supported by Didirri and Cub Sport. Here’s a run down of how my night went. 

The Prep

Usually my pre concert concert routine involves days of last minute outfit changes, very extra hair and makeup prep, flights, hotels and poster making. Even when I saw Vance at The Forum for his Dream Your Life Away Tour, I spent hours curling my hair and perfecting my makeup. This time, however, I left the comfort of my bedroom to head to Rod Laver Area for Vance Joy’s Nation of Two World Tour, after spending only roughly an hour on outfit choosing, hair and makeup and snacking. The most dramatic part of my prep involved applying a significant amount of glitter to my cheeks, but I’ve done it so many times now I can do it with my eyes closed so does it really count?

We arrived at the venue with roughly half an hour to buy merch—and hot chips let’s be real, take a ridiculous amount of photos and make our way to our second row centre seats (I still don’t know how my friend Mikaela managed to score those).

The Opening Acts

First off the bat was Didirri and wow was he incredible. He took a little while to warm to the crowd but when he did he was fantastic. Each song way highly personal and connected to his life, and affected his friends in some way or another. He would stop and chat to the crowd intermittently about his songs, experiences and how the night was going. At one point, a string on his electric guitar broke, but it didn’t affect his playing in the slightest. I’m pretty sure the rest of the crowd didn’t even realise until he pointed it out. A dreamy combination of luscious locks and flashy electric guitar playing started the night off with a real bang.

Next up was Cub Sport, one of my all time faves. I first saw Cub Sport when they toured with the 1975 years ago, and Tim was so excited at how big Margaret Court Arena was he kept thanking the crowd profusely and couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. Now, tours later, the band has evolved both in sound and looks, with Tim’s bleach blond hair growing out and open shirt double denim look setting the new mood. The aesthetics didn’t stop there, with glowing neon signage lighting the stage. They played a lot of my favourites—Oh Lord, Hawaiian Party, and ended with Come On Mess Me Up. They even debuted their new single Sometimes which is out October 5. But by far the cutest and best part of Cub Sport’s set wasn’t when Sam made eye contact with me as I was singing all the words (I did die and shed a tear though), it was every time Tim and Sam make adorable eye contact with each other, especially when Tim dedicates Banyo Blue to Sam, and talks about their love story.

Nation of Two

After sprinting to the bathroom in my half an hour window between sets I was back and ready for Vance to take the stage and at 8.59pm exactly. The lights went down, a spotlight hit the curtain and Vance Joy’s silhouette lit up the entire arena. Vance was greeted with a mass of excited screams—mostly from myself and my two friends Mikaela and Marissa, and as the curtain rose he serenaded us with Call If You Need Me. The night consisted of an incredible mix of old and new. He followed the opening number with Mess is Mine from his previous album, Dream Your Life Away.

Some of the highlights song-wise for me were Like Gold, Alone With Me, Take Your Time, Saturday Sun, Georgia and One of These Days. He also made A LOT of eye contact with us, and laughed at our ridiculous dancing and regular fangirl outbursts. Big hits Riptide and Fire and the Flood had everyone out of their seats dancing and singing along and his endearing personal stories made us all love him even more. He even did a mashup, covering Lionel Richie’s All Night Long and Justin Bieber’s Sorry which had everyone singing along again. A more mellow part of the concert saw everyone get out their phone torches and set the arena alight during I’m With You.

The night didn’t end there, after the show I managed to get a set list which my incredible friend Mikaela managed to get SIGNED by Vance at his next tour date! I also made two new friends—Sophia and Cat, who are both the loveliest humans. We all spent an hour after the concert sharing memories and experiences in the five degree weather.

All in all, it was an incredible evening. Thanks Vance for another incredible tour. See you next time.