Greyson Chance at The Academy 2, Dublin – 13.10.2019

The odds are stacked against 22 year-old Greyson Chance from the off. It would be hard enough competing with flavour of the month Slowthai playing a sold out gig upstairs – add an intermittent fire alarm to that, and it means he’s constantly fighting against the noise.

No matter – Chance’s stinging falsetto rises above, luring an initially timid crowd. Chance’s most recent LP ‘Portraits’ – a record he describes as his true debut following a viral release in his pre-teens – is the focus of the set, keen to show who he is now as a singer-songwriter. Case in point – Bleed You Still sees Chance regale a tale of a hot love since extinguished.

His movement – primal, purposeful – is stark in contrast to the wall of silence built within the crowd and the damning overspill coming from upstairs. However, it soon comes down thanks to biting breakup anthem Timekeeper, its lyricism striking a chord with the most somber attendee: “But you’re addicted to a loneliness/That feeling.”

Black On Black flips that script, focusing on the heady lust felt in the early stages of love. With the crowd now on board, Chance is ready to indulge in some material from the vault – Back On The Wall from 2016’s EP ‘Over My Head’ brings a welcomed pop-lightness to the evening’s proceedings. It’s this kind of performance where synchronicity is achieved between fan and artist.

His desire to be taken seriously as an artist, separate to the viral moment that made him, is evident. At one point, he teases a possible acoustic cover of Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi – the song that made him a household name. Fans react gleefully, only for Chance to pull the ol’ bait-n-switch with a performance of his own tune, Stand. While it’s obvious that ticket-holders feel as strongly about his new material as he does, there’s also a feeling that he could do with taking himself slightly less seriously.

Chance teases new material due imminently, in the same vein as the strong, brooding stories shared on ‘Portraits’. After a brief retirement which saw him question his entire purpose as a musician, he is now unwilling to let the moment pass without showing the world what he’s truly made of. On another night, or perhaps another venue, Dublin could have gotten more than a glimpse of what he’s capable of when it comes to bringing a solid repertoire to the stage.