X Ambassadors, SHAED, & Jacob Banks: The Joyful Tour

X Ambassadors
Jacob Banks
Concert Date: 
Tue, 05/15/2018
Age Restriction: 
The Van Buren

On May 15th, I headed up to the best venue in Phoenix, the Van Buren to see an amazing lineup- Jacob Banks, SHAED, and X Ambassadors! I was most excited to see my friends, SHAED, who I met at SXSW last year and got to spend some time with. I got to the venue and met up with Max, Spencer, and Chelsea and we did an interview, which you can check out on our YouTube channel. Then I let them get ready for their set, and I grabbed some food! The Van Buren really offers everything, so it’s an all around great concert experience. First up to perform that night was Jacob Banks, who has a soulful tone and rich vocals. He was moving and staying hyped on stage, so the crowd followed his lead. The guy sounds great live, and his band was incredible!

Next up was SHAED! They have this great neon sign with their name on it (get it) and came out playing “The News”. Then they played “Perfume” one of their greatest songs! The crowd was vibing along as Chelsea serenaded the crowd and Max and Spencer were jamming on the keys and drum pads! Next up was my favorite song of theirs, “Too Much”! This song is a dance anthem, meant for the club and ready to be celebrated in a concert setting! Chelsea’s voice soared and the crowd was dancing to the synths and Max’s groovy bass guitar! They also played their new song “Trampoline” which just came out! You might notice a whistle happening during the drop, and the guys were actually whistling live! I was so shocked as the twins whistled in unison, and the song has such a great vibe! They played their hit “Just Wanna See” acoustic, which was a cool way to hear one of their very well produced songs stripped down to something simple. They closed with “Name On It”, which has just been featured in a Victoria’s Secret commercial. The sexy song played really well with the crowd, and when Chelsea cussed the crowd loved it! They mentioned that they would be waking up bright and early to be on the local news, and told anyone if they were awake at 4:30am to tune in! The crowd laughed, but also was excited for them! Chelsea said she would be back by the merch table, and a bunch of people went back to say hi to her and tell her how much they loved the set! As someone who has known and supported the band for almost two years, it was really special to see them get that kind of recognition and acceptance from the crowd! I was very proud!

Lastly, the headliners X Ambassadors were up. Most people only know them because of their hit song “Renegades”, but if you dive a little deeper into their catalogue, you will discover this group has a lot of talent. The lead singer’s voice soars on songs like “Unsteady” and closer “Gorgeous”, and the funk (where the band shines) is best played out on “Ahead of Myself” and unreleased track “Happy Home”. The lead singer, Sam, sings, plays bass guitar, and even saxophone, showing off his skills and captivating everyone. I am particularly inspired by Sam’s brother, Casey, who plays keyboard. He is blind, and seeing him rock out and own his truth is incredible to watch! Sam gave a great speech before “Renegades”, explaining how this song is about living your truth and being you who are, regardless of your race, gender, sexuality, or disability.

I am so glad I was able to see these three acts, and would definitely recommend seeing any of them the next time they come to the Valley of the Sun!

Amanda Chesin