Vance Joy Says Opening for Taylor Swift Has Been “Trial by Fire”

Credit: Darren AnkenmanVance Joy may be known for his intimate, acoustic-based songs, but he's playing venues that are anything but intimate as the opening band on pop star Taylor Swift's massive 1989 tour.

"It's been a trial by fire," Joy tells the Los Angeles Times of opening for Swift in arenas. "The goal is just to be yourself, which you think you've got down pat. Playing for 100 people in a room, you can mumble into the mike and say a few things and nothing's missed. But playing for 20,000 people and getting them to be engaged? You need to really project and be like, 'Hey, I'm here!'"

"Over the last 30 shows I've been taking steps out into that void," he adds. "I'll try to get the whole crowd to clap along or hold their phones up."

Joy names his songs "Fire and the Flood" and "Georgia" as his favorite moments of his set, but "Riptide," his first hit, still receives the biggest crowd response.

"It's hard. I get in touch with the people loving it and with that feeling," Joy says of playing "Riptide." "From early on it's been like this thing I've got in my pocket, this nice little gift. But you stop thinking about the fact that you wrote it, you know? It goes from a song you wrote to this thing that's in a book. You open up the book, and you play the song."

Joy's tour with Swift continues tonight with the fifth and final show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The North American leg of the tour wraps up Halloween night in Tampa, Florida.

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