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Band “Vacations” Plays Last Show of U.S. Tour in Phoenix, Arizona

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Based out of Newcastle, Australia, indie-rock band Vacations just concluded their very first U.S. tour. Due to travel restrictions from COVID, it had taken the band five years to get to the U.S. and they announced news of their tour on September 20th, 2021, through Instagram. On the 22nd, tickets were available to purchase, and by February 4th, they announced that both Harmless and Dreamgirl would be joining them as show openers. With thirty-two shows spanning as far east as Boston, Massachusetts to the west coast of Los Angeles, California–the band had a hefty schedule cut out for them. Seven shows were sold out before the beginning of their tour.

Vacations also wanted to give audience members an additional opportunity to connect. Through a partnership with “Pure Nowhere”, listeners could relate their concert experiences, photos, or videos as a digital journal (Vacations Submission Portal — Pure Nowhere). After the first show in California Izzy Jones stated:

“It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life…I was standing in front of the people who got me through high school”

Pure Nowhere

Another audience member, Perla Banuelos said

“I’ve never been to a concert where we all felt like friends and family”

Pure Nowhere

Through comments from the first show, Vacations seems to have an unparalleled concert experience. Many fans described an environment that made them feel in awe and relaxed at the same time. Subsequently, the last show of their tour was extra bittersweet for them. Coming from a “haunted hotel” in Tucson, Arizona, the band made its way to the city for their last show. With Dreamgirl as their opener, they had their final performance at the Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, Arizona on April 13th.

With a maximum capacity of 300 people, the venue quickly filled up in anticipation of the performance. Soon enough, Kansas City-based band, “Dreamgirl” came out and began their set. With a spunky haircut, lead singer Lacey Hopkins opened with dreamy vocals and synth chords. Self-proclaimed as “Cyndi Lauper meeting surf-rock” the band did not disappoint. Hopkins brought a sense of humor that made the audience members feel light and happy.

By their performance of “Teenage Blue”, the whole crowd was captivated. Electric guitarist Grady Drugg sang the harmonies while adding to the 50s influenced guitar of Skylar Smith. Combined, both guitarists went back and forth with each other, a conversation of bright chords and fingerstyle picking. Drummer Ian Dobyns was cheered on by the crowd with each new song and bassist Joe Gronniger was announced to have gotten married to Lacey during the tour. The band brought the audience back in time to the sounds of beach rock with a personal touch of synth piano and dream pop.

At the close of Dreamgirl’s performance, Vacations band members came out shortly after. Starting off with their 2020 album “Changes”, the band drew the audience in with the fun beat of “Moving Out”. Soon enough, everyone was bobbing their heads and swaying to the music. Over the course of the performance, they played songs from their oldest albums “Vibes” and “Days” to their newest release “On Your Own” from March 2021.

The Rebel Lounge gave an intimate setting for both the audience and the band. Before the beginning of “Telephones”, singer Campbell Burns had the stage crew turn off the lights where the audience then relit the room with their phone lights–giving the room a special ambiance.

The audience was continually drawn in as the show went on. “Let’s do a sing-along,” Campbell said before beginning “Young”, which is one of their most popular songs. Soon enough everyone was on their feet jumping to the music and singing along. Additionally, there was a raffle where the prize was a red electric guitar signed by all members of the band. Not only did they make you feel at home, but their music was so enjoyable because you could tell that they were enjoying it too.

With a unique tone that complimented the instrumentals, Campbell always made sure to interact with the audience. Drummer, Joey Van Lier, never failed to smile and express his joy during the performance. Bass player Jake Johnson cracked jokes in between songs, saying that “Australians liked to shorten everything” after coining the term “Zonies” to describe people from Arizona. Finally, guitarist Nate Delizzotti showed off impressive skill and was the glue that brought all moving parts of the band together. All members expressed dedication to their music which was reflected in gratitude towards the audience.

Not only was their last performance a testament to their music, but it was a testament to the band’s character–one that appreciates music in a way that breaks out of nuances and embraces listeners completely. For years, Vacations had fans across the sea and could never perform for them. However, this year provided an opportunity to give back to their listeners across the globe. As they make their way back home, there’s no doubt that they will be back. In fact, this is only the beginning, and there will always be listeners they can go back to near or far.

Make sure to support Dreamgirl and Vacations on all music platforms @dreamgirl and @vacationsband_

Here’s to happy listening!

Hi! My name is Lauren Hicks, and I am pursuing a BA in Professional Writing. Writing has always been an interest of mine and I am grateful to continue cultivating these skillsets through college. In my free time, I enjoy playing instruments, spending time outdoors, and finding new music.