Andy Grammer at the Vogue Theatre, 3/20/18
Andy Grammer’s Vogue show on Tuesday began with a synchronized dance routine to opening song, “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah).” Each member of Grammer’s band played their instruments with precision all while hitting every dance move. Clearly impressed with the spectacle, audible squeals of glee erupted from several sections of the audience in response.
Grammer then launched into signature song, “85.” It was at this point that the crowd began to notice the vivacity of the band. Coordinated hand shakes, fist bumps, and winks were exchanged throughout multiple songs. Quick glances and joyous giggles further demonstrated the unabashed camaraderie between band members and as a result, each attendee began to faun over their favourite one.
A true high point of the night was Grammer’s performance of “Always.” In a twist, just before the song ended Grammer called the name of an audience member and asked if his marriage proposal went well.
Once the audience member sheepishly nodded, Grammer enthusiastically hopped off staged, hugged the newly engaged couple and asked the crowd to sing the final chorus. Before complying, attendees whipped out their phones to record the momentous occasion.
Grammer’s backup singers deserve special mention. Before Grammer sang “Civil War,” one backup singer blessed the audience with an acapella cover of “Creep” by Radiohead. Very rarely are backup singers given the opportunity to perform side by side with their employers but Grammer seemed to enjoy sharing the stage.
In fact, his second backup singer sang a solo rendition of Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry.” This, as well as the multiple instrumental solos from each band member, expounded the idea that Grammer has no qualms with giving equal space for everyone to shine.
Music about his three month old daughter seemed to compose half of Grammer’s setlist – a mark of a proud, newly minted father. Before the beginning of “Spaceship”, Grammer explained that before his daughter’s birth, he would sing to his wife’s pregnant belly as if the baby was in another world.
Themes such as this make up the entirety of Grammer’s repertoire. While other musicians in the industry tend toward harder and grimier lyrics, Grammer’s songs are wholesome, happy and family-oriented, and serve as a striking contrast to the sometimes explicit content of today’s pop music.
This seemed to be a point of contention with Grammer who raised this same issue during his encore performance of “Good Parts.” He explained that the song was about owning your differences and left the audience with one singular piece of advice:
“My biggest insecurity is that my music is not hard enough for the current time,” said Grammer. “When you shine, the world will try to dim you down. And I personally want to say, ‘Fuck that.’”