Vance Joy, Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour Opening Act, on What He's Learned from the Megastar

Taylor Swift The 1989 World Tour Live In Seattle
Photo: Suzi Pratt/LP5/Getty Images for TAS

Taylor Swift’s incredibly buzzy 1989 tour doesn’t end until December, so there's still a chance to catch the pop star in action —aside from the tunes, she turns each concert into a star-studded affair. But before the “Bad Blood” singer takes the stage to belt out chart-topping hits and introduce an army of models, comedians, actresses, and friends, there’s only one person that riles the riotous crowd night after night: Vance Joy.

At 27-years-old, the handsome 6’4” Australian musician is known for his adorable curly locks, soothing vocals, and his guitar, which he totes arou about everywhere he goes. So how does the performer muster up the courage to sing in front of a stadium packed with Swifties? “You just need to bring people in, speak slowly, and you can engage with a big stadium,” he tells InStyle. “I really liked Seattle. It started to rain and I felt really great energy off of that crowd. It was awesome. It was kind of epic.”

Of course Joy is a solo act and has the chops to steal the show independently, however, it’s Swift who has inspired him these past few months on the road. “I’ve definitely come out of my shell more because more is required when you’re performing for a Taylor Swift audience,” Joy says. Swift, naturally, has shown him a thing or two about creating memorable experiences for the audience. “She talks to the crowd really well. I think she could do anything," Joy adds. "She could be like an Oprah figure the way she talks to people. It’s motivational and inspiring.”

For Joy, it’s not just Swift who’s showing him the touring ropes. “Sometimes her manager or her dad might suggest something,” he says. “On the second show, [her dad] said, ‘Just say to the crowd, Hi, I’m Vance Joy, how are you doing?, and to speak stadium slow. Don’t speak quickly.' So, I've tried to incorporate that since he said that, and he was right on.”

Joy, who’s preparing to release a bevy of new songs in September, cites Swift BFF Lorde as the 1989 guest star that’s truly taken his breath away, adding, “I screamed a bit” when she took the stage. We wouldn’t have reacted any differently.

—With reporting by Brandi Fowler

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