It was a beautiful Thursday night in Napa, California. The historic Uptown Theatre from 1937 has hosted some of the biggest artists in entertainment, including Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and BB King. Now, it was time to add Andy Grammer to the list. Over the past few years, Grammer has put out great music, including hits “Honey I’m Good”, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Don’t Give Up On Me”. The singer-songwriter has nearly 500 million views on his YouTube alone and has made an impact with his music.
It was the perfect night in Napa to watch Andy Grammer on his Art of Joy Tour.
The opening act, Alt Bloom, put on a great performance. He brought out the swagger, energy and engagement as a good opener should! The Montana native was a pleasant surprise; there were multiple fans around the crowd tapping their feet, moving their heads and dancing to his music. He started off with his hits “West Coast” and “Damn Baby” before switching it up to a more rock ‘n roll vibe. In the middle of his show, he talked about being stuck at home during quarantine. When he was in his room all alone, he mentioned he listened to Tom Petty all the time (who passed away in 2017). He dedicated his next song “Fly Away” to him and the crowd cheered! Everyone still loves the great Tom Petty…
There was a 30-minute intermission between Alt Bloom and Andy Grammer. During that time, the fans went to the merchandise table, ordered more drinks or walked around the venue. Yet, as soon as Andy Grammer walked onstage, the crowd went nuts, running back to the front! Andy started the night off by coming onstage and doing a poem that also sounded like an a cappella freestyle. It was real and the crowd was locked in. Out of all of the lines from his poem, one stood out the most — “Be yourself, because everybody else is taken.”
Grammer started off the set with “Damn It Feels Good to Be Me” and the crowd was singing along. After a few songs, he talked to the crowd about his experience of being cooped up during quarantine, as well, and how much being onstage feels like home to him, which led to his next song, “Back Home”.
Throughout the show, Grammer balanced the old and the new, alternating between fan-favorites — like his career launching “Keep Your Head Up” and “Honey I’m Good” — and new music. A brand new song Grammer wrote during quarantine is a love song to himself (aptly titled “Love Myself”), as well as “Good Man”, a record about his daughter. We can’t wait until “Good Man” is released, because it has powerful words and a beautiful piano melody. Before Grammer played “I am Yours”, he asked the crowd if the song was part of someone’s wedding. Sure enough, a woman raised her hand and Grammer dedicated the song to the woman and her husband who was not there. After he sang the song, Grammer joked, “I hope you FaceTimed him” and the crowd was laughing.
Towards the end of the show, Grammer switched microphones to the old microphones from the 50s and 60s.
His band also took over and had solo performances, including the saxophone and trumpet players. Everyone was smiling and having a good time. Those are the best shows… when there are multiple musicians in the back playing their style and adding new flavors to songs. Grammer ended the night with “Don’t Give Up On Me”. Andy Grammer live was so much fun: he’s one of the most unexpected and engaging artists with the crowd I’ve ever covered! We can’t wait to see him again.
Photography by Arik Ruiz