06.19.2019 Will Varley with Ava Rowland (Beachland Ballroom Tavern - Cleveland, Ohio)
I first fell in love with the music of Will Varley after his song "We Don't Believe You" auto-played on YouTube one night after a Frank Turner video. From there I explored his other songs and was blown away by songs such as "King for a King" and "Wedding & Wars." Not only did I find his songwriting to be absolutely brilliant, he had a wonderfully and almost haunting voice. I think I listened to Spirit of Minnie on repeat for almost a month. I'm still currently in a non-stop rotation of Postcards from Ursa Minor.
I missed seeing him when he toured with Frank Turner, so I was ecstatic to see tickets go on sale for a headline tour over the summer. I bought tickets immediately for myself and the family, and talked my friend Mike into coming along with us, as well as his son Ben.
Late Friday night I got the wild thought to email the venue and ask if it'd be alright if I brought my camera. Not only were they ok with it, they encouraged it, which is a rarity with music venues.
The Beachland Ballroom & Tavern in Cleveland is actually two venues in one. Our show was in the tavern side of the venue, which is much smaller and intimate, but also perfect for this sort of show.
The opening act was a girl named Ava Rowland who was adorably talkative, beautiful, and had a voice reminiscent of a younger Carrie Underwood. I have to admit that I'm not particularly familiar with modern country music, so I didn't know a lot of her covers, but her own compositions were well written and emotionally driven.
Will was as amazing as I expected him to be. His voice filled that room in a way I can't quite explain. What did surprise me was how funny he was. I guess I had never taken the time to watch any interviews with him, so I didn't know that we'd spend half the night laughing hysterically.