May 5, 2009
Chicago, IL – Martyrs’
Review by Natalie K.

Joey Degraw and Tony Lucca’s acoustic tour kicked off in Chicago, IL at the small bar/concert lounge Martyr’s. The intimate setting had three long rows of tables set up perpendicular to the stage, and an abundance of bar stools strewed around everywhere else. The small candlelit atmosphere mixed perfectly with both artists demeanor.

Joey Degraw hit the stage first armed with his guitar, a mic, a stool and fellow guitarist Andy Clayburn playing along side with him. Performing songs off of his soon to be released “Say Something Strong” Joey received the audiences attention and kept it throughout his entire set. Joey Degraw announced to the room that Sony Red picked up his and Gavin Degraw’s record label National Underground just hours prior to hitting the stage. What does that mean for the singer-songwriter; Joey’s album Say Something Strong is going to have the backing of a major label when it comes to distribution. A solid record with a solid backing, nothing shabby about that news. Songs from his set included ‘Tragedy’, ‘Another Mistake’, ‘Waving at No One’, and ‘Sister Mystery’. Joey had an easy-going laid back approach with the crowd talking in between songs, which made you feel as if he was aiming his conversation directly at you. Each song was executed with ease and conviction, even one that Joey and Andy claimed to wrote on the way to the venue. The thirty to forty-five minute set flew by and next up was Tony Lucca.

As soon as Tony hit the stage the audience was already calling out songs to be played in which Tony shot back with, “Oh this is going to be a fun night.” The California based singer songwriter has a powerful booming voice that captivates the room into complete silence. ‘Giving it All Away’ was an audience favorite and so was, ‘Pretty Things and ‘Water Under the Bridge’. Tony has a relaxed almost nervous way about him, but once he starts singing his songs transcends him into someone that seems to forget he is singing to an audience; Tony gets lost in his music and gives each song his all with power and tranquility mixed together. Before a song Tony asked the audience to snap along, not clap, snap because, “come on you know white people find it hard to hold a beat together so I find snapping is easier”. Sure enough the audience held a steady snapping beat throughout the song. Tony had no problem playing songs that were shouted out by various audience members, even ones he claimed to not of played in awhile.

All around it was the most laid back show I have been to, and that is what I like about acoustic tours; they are small, intimate, and personal which makes an audience connect to the artist on a more personal level. Joey Degraw and Tony Lucca are two amazing artists that were born to play live music because their songs actually sound better live than recorded.