Vance Joy at Sonic Lunch on 7/31

We are very pleased to present Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy this Thursday at Sonic Lunch, brought to you by Bank of Ann Arbor. Vance’s career is advancing at a rapid rate, with his Ann Arbor concert coming barely a month before the release of his full-length debut album Dream Your Life Away on Atlantic Records.

Vance JoyBorn James Keogh and a native of Melbourne, Australia, Vance Joy recently finished his studies for a degree in law but is wisely devoting his energy to music these days. The infectious and undeniably catchy song Riptide, originally issued on his EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing, was Joy’s breakthrough release, resulting in his contract with Atlantic and lots of tour dates outside of Australia. According to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, Vance initially wrote the first few chords and lines of what was to become Riptide back in 2008, but shelved the idea as he thought the song was “too simple to work”. But years later, by pure luck, he happened to be writing a melody line to an entirely different song that trigged a memory. “I guess I was just lucky,” he said, when the two songs clicked together to become Riptide.

This young man has a strong following already and is poised for major international stardom!

Our opening act – hitting the stage at 11:30 am this Thursday – is Keri Lynn Roche, a gifted singer-songwriter from the Detroit area who made a strong impression on ‘American Idol’ earlier this year.

2014 Lineup in the Works

Martha Reeves Crowd Shot

Dancin’ in the streets to Martha Reeves in 2013

Our magical Sonic Lunch elves are back in the workshop, feverishly planning an epic lineup for SL 2014. Be sure to stay in the loop for any lineup announcements by signing up for our email list just to your right, or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

For those of you interested in playing at Sonic Lunch, or simply suggesting a band, please contact us at


– The Sonic Lunch Team

This week at Sonic Lunch – Kopecky Family Band wsg Kate Peterson

Join us this Thursday for our second-to-last Sonic Lunch as we present rising stars from Nashville,  The Kopecky Family Band. Starting as a dorm room jam in 2007, this group of familial (but not blood-related) musicians has been gaining serious steam, recently securing the #18 spot on the national radio charts with their hit “Heartbeat”, which they performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno just weeks ago.

Described as a modern-day Fleetwood Mac by The New York Times, their seamless blend of carefree folk, pop and indie rock is fun and melodic. Don’t miss your chance to see these up-and-comers!

Joining the party this Thursday is Michigan singer-songwriter Kate Peterson of the folk duo Nervous But Excited. Kate will take the stage at 11:30, with Kopecky Family Band slated to start around noon.


This week at Sonic Lunch: Darren Criss with special guest Theo Katzman

Darren Criss is quickly becoming one of the most sought after actors and musicians of his generation. He has gone from YouTube sensation to a six‐time Billboard charting musician and composer, who currently stars as Blaine Anderson on Fox’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award‐winning series Glee. Criss made his Broadway debut last January as J. Pierrepont Finch in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. With Criss as the leading man, the revival made just under $4 million – the most lucrative three weeks of its 11‐month run. This summer, he will make his theatrical debut in the film Girl Most Likely, alongside Kristen Wiig, Annett Benning and Matt Dillon.

After making a splash as a guest star on the second season of Glee, Criss was quickly promoted to a series regular. His breakout performance of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” in his first episode set a milestone for Glee. The song debuted at #1 on Billboard for the first time in the show’s history and sold over 200,000 tracks in its first week. Criss made his first major television appearance in 2009 as Josh Burton on ABC’s Eastwick, with Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price and Jaime Ray Newman, and also appeared in CBS’ Cold Case.

Prior to his television career, the San Francisco native pursued his acting degree at the University of Michigan. In his senior year, Criss and his friends created a Harry Potter musical parody entitled, A Very Potter Musical as a fun project for their classmates, friends and other Harry Potter fans. Along with starring as the boy wizard himself, Criss also lent several of his songs to be used in the show. Within weeks of posting the musical online, it became a YouTube hit, garnering millions of views and musical theater‐world attention.

Using A Very Potter Musical as a springboard, Criss and his writing partners started StarKid Productions. Within a year, they wrote and produced subsequent online hits and as a result, the StarKid brand has grown to become just as popular as the shows themselves, spawning an enormous cult following from all over the world. Having established their home base in Chicago, StarKid Productions wrapped their latest original musical comedy with a two‐week sold out run in February 2012. Entitled Starship, Criss was responsible for the music and lyrics.

With overwhelming success on the music charts for his musical theater numbers, Criss set out to create a solo album, and defied what many try to achieve under various music genres with his 2010 EP “Human”.  This acoustic collection of 5 original songs hit #17 on the Billboard charts, and redefined Criss as a serious contender in the contemporary music scene.

When not writing music for StarKid, he continues to write music for himself as an artist. As a songwriter, Criss has been able to draw from his life, relationships, loves, and quirky outlook to pen heartfelt, tender, and raw songs—all of which range from the styles of soul, folk, rock, jazz and even classic show tunes.

Kicking things off is Sonic Lunch veteran and superstar in his own right, Theo Katzman, a longtime friend and collaborator with Criss on various solo projects. Katzman’s infectious brand of soulful pop is an easy pairing with Criss’s self-described “soul-folk” style.

A logistical note; this show will be held at The Michigan Theater, rather than the usual Liberty Plaza location for Sonic Lunch concerts. A large crowd is expected, so those who plan to attend should arrive early and read our FAQ page to find out further details.