As a writer for a music magazine, I often struggle to find the words to portray how it feels to be in the audience of each and every show I attend. Never have I found it as difficult as I have while putting together this article for Vanna’s farewell show. After countless drafts, I find the best description to simply be the lyrics from the band’s song “Mutter:”
In here you are free
To be us
To be you
To be me”
Fronted by Davey Muise, Vanna’s goal has been to be “comfortable with the uncomfortable” — to write and sing about the painful things we all inevitably experience in life. The result is not a spreading of negativity, but a feeling that we are not alone in our suffering. As a result, for many of us, Vanna is more than a band. It’s a community. A place to leave behind the depression, anxiety, loss, addiction, whatever it is that is burying us. We go to their shows and leave feeling inspired and energized. The announcement of the band’s breakup was understandably devastating for many. However, the All Good Things Must Come To An End Tour strengthened that sense of community tenfold, making their farewell something to celebrate and embrace.
In Philadelphia, fans got exactly what they’ve come to expect from Vanna. A show in which the audience plays as much of a role as the band does. Fans were invited onto the stage, Davey shoved the microphone into the faces in front of him during every song, and bassist Shawn Marquis dove into the crowd as the band made their way through a set spanning their entire discography. Thank you, Davey, Seamus, Shawn, Nick, Joel (and Casey) for allowing the community you’ve created to come together one last time and say goodbye.
While I understand that a singer does not make a band, and all members of each band should be recognized, the video below of Davey telling his story paints an accurate picture of the message Vanna stands for. I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch it, and get involved with his amazing project Shovel Brand. My shovel is photography and writing. What’s yours?
Connect with Vanna
All photos by Ali Brant Photography