Foy Vance Makes Tour Stop at Skirball

The Irish singer offered a fiercely captivating performance.


Foy Vance performed at NYU Skirball on Oct 15. After a two-year break from the road, Vance is back on tour in North America and UK. (Via Facebook)

Destine Manson, Staff Writer

Veteran musician Foy Vance continued his triumphant return to live touring with a stop at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts stage. After two years off from touring, the singer came out swinging with an energetic performance and powerful vocals set to a diverse set of old and new material.

As the audience waited in their seats, drinks in hand, Vance took the stage. He sported his signature gray ascot cap and blue jeans. It may have been a sit-down concert, but the adrenaline in the room could be felt from the orchestra seats to the balcony as the crowd excitedly murmured.

Vance opened with “I Was Born,” the opener from his latest album “To Memphis.” His smokey voice rang out and hushed the eager crowd as his fingers navigated the piano keys. The song perfectly represented the set to follow: calm, emotional and energetic all at once.

Vance frequently conversed with the audience as he switched between various instruments during song breaks. The Irish singer nodded to songs from the United States that inspired his covers of classic country and soul artists bred in the South. He performed covers of Keith Urban and the hit song “FourFiveSeconds” by Kanye West, Rihanna and Paul McCartney.

Of course, Vance’s own pieces were the centerpiece of the show. Each song, most drawn from “To Memphis,” filled the theater with warmth as the audience sat comfortably in their seats and bopped their heads to the music. It was relaxing and heart-thumping. Lighting and smoke effects on the stage added to the hazy atmosphere of the show. Fans laughed, cried and even stood up when they couldn’t resist the infectious choruses of songs like “Wind Blows Chloe.” They kept singing along after the drums and Foy’s guitar had ceased.

Vance’s decade-plus experience in the music industry shone through as he gave a deftly balanced live show. His powerful yet understated songs moved the audience, a perfect representation for the feelings brought on by his latest project.

The singer has recently been a supporting act for star performers like Ed Sheeran and Elton John, but Vance’s new tour marks a return to his own music as the main feature.

His next show will be on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

A version of the article appears in the Monday, Oct. 21. 2019, print edition. Email Destine Manson at [email protected]