Canon Blue, Vinyl Thief bring energetic vibe to Barefoots

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By Abby Ott, Staff Writer

The lights dimmed in Barefoots Joe. The band, Vinyl Thief, stepped onto the stage and the party began. Later, Canon Blue would grace the stage with placid melodies.

The band’s ecstatic sound and energetic frontman, Grayson Proctor, entranced the audience. Proctor moved around the stage while singing and sometimes playing the guitar and keyboard, making the show highly energetic.

Vinyl Thief, an electro-rock band composed of five men from outside Nashville, opened for Canon Blue. Vinyl Thief recently introduced its new album, “Rebel Hill.” Students experienced many of the newly released songs live, including “Faces,” “Pipes” and “Rebel Hill.” The songs are worthy rhythms and eclectic arrangements.

Vinyl Thief frequently changes melodies in its songs, and as a result, produces a fun, amiable sound intriguing for listeners. The group’s performance and new record seem to be compatible. However, watching the frontman, a fiery redhead, hop, groove and skip across the stage was impressive and clearly something not offered on the record.

“They had a lot of energy and a fun style we do not get to hear a lot, and it was really awesome to hear live,” Rebecca Faulks, junior nursing major, said after the show.

After Vinyl Thief’s entertaining performance came to a close, members of Canon Blue — the solo project of Daniel James — prepped for their show. A drummer and bassist accompanied James.

Once the band was ready, the coffee shop grew darker than with the Vinyl Thief show, the background music ceased and James’ voice resounded in the student-filled space.

His tenor voice sounded calm, and he performed mostly mellow songs. However, “Chicago,” a tune performed toward the end of the show, provides more beats and liveliness than his other tracks.

“I booked Canon Blue because they have a sound I have not heard before,” said Joe Dresser, sophomore biology major and Barefoots leadership team member. “It is a mix of electronic, string chamber pop and rock. It is a cool sound.”

Canon Blue’s James is known for his work with the celebrated Icelandic band Sigur Rós. James recorded orchestral arrangements with the band’s string quartet Amiina. Canon Blue’s current album, “Rumspringa,” is easygoing and atmospheric and has a pseudo-lounge feel.

He croons lighthearted tunes throughout the record. While his album features woodwinds, brass and percussion, James performed with only two musicians live, resulting in a different sound than the recording provides.

“People enjoyed it,” Dresser said. “There were definitely different vibes that the band put forth. There were a lot of slower, calmer songs and upbeat driving songs as well. I think Union really got into it.”

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.