What’s Andy Grammer’s main goal when writing music? To be real. According to him, that’s all that really matters. A talented all-around musician, Grammer sings about his life, his experiences, and just about everything in between.
His best-known track, “Honey, I’m Good,” which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Charts back in 2015, is a perfect example of Grammer’s ability to write catchy, upbeat tracks that appeal to the masses. Currently on a 36-city tour celebrating the release of his fourth studio album, Naive, Grammer brings his fans the signature inspirational, happy and especially sing-a-long-able tracks to which we’ve grown accustomed.
The audience at the Varsity Theatre was ready, facing the stage. Suddenly, the lights flipped around and streamed into the audience to reveal Andy Grammer, guitar in hand, sitting in the middle of the crowd, fans quickly spun around for a better view. He began with a spoken word poem, before gracefully entering into to the track “Naive” off of his newest album with the same name.
He played old favorites early, including jamming out to “Keep Your Head Up” on keys (one of my personal favorites). He and his live band (who were great), then assisted him on a powerful rendition of “85,” a song Grammer earnestly told the audience was a reminder that life isn’t always about the shiny things, as cool and fun as those shiny things may be. He also performed the other hit off of his debut album, “Fine By Me,” to the crowd’s delight.
Interacting with the Crowd
In the middle of the show, Grammer shared a touching story about his mother, who died when he was just 25, and the massive impact it had on his life. Her favorite album happened to be Graceland by Paul Simon, which motivated Grammer to collaborate with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who were featured prominently on Simon’s album. The resulting track, “She’d Say,” was a song made for Grammer’s daughter, who will never get to meet her grandmother. It was a heartwarming moment, to say the least.
Grammer also performed a few more songs off his new album, including the high-energy anthem “Born for This,” the tough-in-cheek critique of current social media “Spotlight” (with terrific verses from his crew of background singers), and the powerful “I am Yours,” among others.
Grammer even invited a young girl on stage who was dealing with her own pain. He made a song for her right there on the spot (a damn catchy one), celebrating her strength (with help from spoken-word poet Shaun Hill).
A New Andy
Andy Grammer is still spreading positivity and love to his fans through his music. He tells us that he simply writes from the heart, “lives a life that is pretty great” and lets it shine through in his lyrics.
Except, things feel a bit different this time.
Grammer is older, more introspective, and vulnerable. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Not that he wasn’t before, but if he wasn’t then, he sure is now. Grammer has opened up about his past and wants to share this with his fans. If you’re feeling pain, he wants you to know that he’s felt it, too. Like he did with his own, he wants you to use your pain for strength.
His ability to stay positive throughout difficult times is apparent but, as he told the crowd, sometimes someone who smiles a little too much can come off as… stupid. But to Grammer, this is just fine by him. His experiences have made him who he is.
And he’s gonna smile away.