Photos by Randy Jarosz
Joy Ike with Cello Fury
May 24, 2014
Pittsburgh is home to a handful of small intimate venues. A place where you can almost watch the sweat fall from your favorite performing artist’s face. Pittsburgh Winery in the Strip District is one such venue. The potent aroma of wine hits you as you make your way down a steep set of stairs. Tables to seat two or four gather around the stage that boasts wine barrels as the back drop. The red walls add to the mood and raise energy levels while taking in a guitar solo. For $18 you can grab a bottle of wine and really take it all in.
On Saturday, July 24 Joy Ike made her way back to her home town to play the sold out venue, a warm reception, after an 8 city midwest tour that was a flop for the most part. “Something caught me off guard every night,” explains Ike. One venue even shut down four days before her performance, only to find out through Facebook. Ike segued nicely into the song “Everything You Have,” which talks about how everything falls apart.
Joy Ike performed with her full band, a first since new years eve. Ryan Socrates played percussion and drums while Jason Rafalak switched from upright bass to electric bass throughout the evening. Joy Ike played keys and tossed in a couple songs on ukulele and of course showed off her polarizing voice throughout the 75 minute set.
Although disappointed about her recent trip, Ike was flawless and actually got better as the evening went. She fed off the crowds energy as she quickly gained her confidence back. “This is Fun,” says Ike. The catch phrase of the night, after a not so fun 2000 mile road trip.
Ike opened the night with “Nomad,” from her 2010 release Rumors and continued on with “No Matter What.” Ike is engaging, telling stories about the songs and her life in general. She tells a funny story about her parents wanting her to get married and trying to set her up with a man, before the song, “Promised Land.” During the interactive song “Time,” which she wrote for a couple’s wedding, Ike encourages the crowd to go to a page on her website to pick a note to play. Ike talks about the difficult topic of losing her brother to cancer prior to “How She Floats,” and a letter she wrote to a guy but never sent during “Home.”
Despite not having the best tour, Joy can find solace in Pittsburgh, her home town, a place where people don’t take her talent for granted. Joy may only play to 12 people while out of town but here she can count on her devoted fan base to fill any venue.
You can catch Joy Ike at 3 Rivers Arts Fest June 8th, on the World Café Live in Philadelphia or at Summer Sounds Concert in the Park in Greensburg.
Cello Fury opened the show proving that cello’s are cool, with their rock and roll style. Spaces are still available for their Senior Rock Camp for ages 12-16, July 7-11 at Pittsburgh Music Academy, 1100 Washington Avenue, Carnegie, PA 15106.