Braving the exhaustive rain, an exhilarated crowd of fans flocked to The Sylvee to see rapper and singer Bryce Vine’s long-awaited return to Madison last Thursday.
Madison was just the latest stop on Vine’s genre-bending “Interstate Tour” following the release of his 2023 EP “Serotonin,” and his recent single, “Margot Robbie.”
With a packed house, the curtain rose to reveal the talented Chad Tepper, who previously worked with Vine on a song titled “Run the World.” His short yet well-curated set produced a sound that rocked the crowd into a frenzy. RMR (pronounced ‘rumor’), a Ghana-born artist who gained notoriety after the release of his song “Rascal” in 2020, emerged on stage quickly after Tepper.
Following the exuberant performances from crowd-favorite openers, Vine took the floor with “Where the Wild Things Are,” a track off his 2014 EP titled “Lazy Fair.” A very talented live band backed the New York City- and California-raised artist, including a drummer and a DJ/trumpeter by the name of Lvcky Dave.
When Vine enthusiastically addressed the crowd between “Nostalgia“ and “Miss You a Little,” a feeling of togetherness descended upon the crowd. Everyone, from old-timers who had been to Vine’s last Madison outing to those who were newer to his music, were brought together in one common experience.
“I love bringing people together. It’s my favorite thing in the world. This is my favorite place to be,” he told the crowd.
It’s been four years since Vine last stepped foot in Madison, albeit on the stage of The Majestic Theatre. Yet he seemed right at home at the forefront of The Sylvee.
“We have so much to catch up on,” he said. “There’s been so many changes in our lives since I last saw you. It gets weird, but I hope we all share this together. A cleansing of the soul, if you will.”
Vine’s carefully selected and highly personal setlist invited the crowd to experience a range of emotions from love to heartbreak. With an amalgamation of fan-favorites such as “Drew Barrymore,” “Sour Patch Kids” and a cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” to lesser-known songs like “Glamorama” and “Nobody,” Vine emulated a down-to-earth performance that truly meant something to his fans.
While addressing the crowd, Vine asked fans to turn on their flashlights and to sway their arms to the beat of the music. In doing so, it felt as if the crowd had transformed from spectators into a true part of the show — it was an intimate moment shared between the performers and audience.
Lvcky Dave’s feature as a trumpeter only added to the highly beat-driven phrases that heightened the bass-heavy sound ringing throughout The Sylvee. Vine’s mix of Third Eye Blind- and J-Cole-inspired sounds coupled with his intelligent lyricism captured what it means to live in the moment and to share such an experience with those around us.
The serotonin-fueled crowd left the Sylvee after Vine’s stage exit, brimming with his infectious energetic demeanor.