On September 12th, Joshua Bassett performed his first U.S. show in New York at Bowery Ballroom and his second-ever headlining concert. Just a few days prior, he performed his first show in Toronto and attended the D23 expo to promote his hit Disney+ series.
Joshua Bassett announced his first headlining tour in May. However, it was canceled at the beginning of August due to a scheduling conflict which was filming for season 4 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Many fans were devastated including myself who had a ticket to the San Francisco show that got canceled. My world had felt like it was crashing down right after my Shawn Mendes concert was postponed and ultimately canceled with the rest of the Wonder World Tour. On September 6th, I opened Instagram to see that there were more VIPs added to all of the American shows and that he was releasing a new EP the week following the New York shows. I was devastated and then had this big “what if” moment. The next thing I knew, I had a trip to New York planned and nothing felt real.
I showed up at 10:30am not knowing what to expect because I had never camped all day for a concert before, but it was the most fun I’d had in a while. I met up with friends I’ve made on his official Discord server, and they were the sweetest people ever. It is always the most surreal feeling for me to meet up with my online friends for the first time. I also made some other friends in line. We played cards and hangman for a bit.
At around 3, we saw Joshua exit a van followed by his friend Ciara Riley Wilson, who starred in the “Doppelganger” music video. We were given our VIP lanyard around 6 and entered the venue. We were given a black tour tote bag and a gray journal with “your secret’s safe with me” printed on the front. They gave us a pouch to lock up our phones in and then let go towards the stage. Joshua walked out wearing a blue hoodie while holding Franklin. We were all freaking out because this was Franklin’s first appearance in a very long time.
Joshua gave us a moment to put all of our gifts and letters onto the stage. Then, he told us he had a ballad and a bop from the new album for us. First, he played “would you love me now?” and we got to hear it up until the bridge. I was honestly on the verge of tears, and I was squeezing the hand of the girl next to me. It was just so surreal, and that song is incredibly beautiful. He paused it right before the bridge and then jumped from the stage to dance with us to “She Said He Said She Said.” Honestly, it was a blast.
Once he got to the bridge of that song, he paused it and asked us if we had any questions. Someone asked about his unreleased podcast, a few people asked about HSMTMTS, and someone got Joshua to draw them a tattoo.
I was chosen to ask a question, so I had to ask him what his boba order was because I love boba and was genuinely curious. He looked me in the eye and yelled “What’s your discord at?” It was so funny because I asked him if he liked boba there before. Unfortunately, I have to report that Joshua does not get boba enough to have a real order.
Overall, this was one of my favorite VIP experiences to date. The phones being put away allowed me to feel more connected to the group. I would say that my only complaint had to be the group photo. I don’t mind a group photo, but it was nearly impossible to see anyone near the stage. I was on my tip toes and my face barely made it into the frame. My shorter friends fully disappeared into a sea of people. The LA shows had their group pictures taken from a balcony which seemed like a much better option.
We waited for about an hour before his opener Lindsey Lomis began. Lindsey was such a ray of sunshine, to say the least. She has such a bubbly personality and great energy. Her vocals were incredible as well. I was genuinely impressed with her performance. She closed with her song “save your breath” and taught the crowd the chorus beforehand. It was so nice hearing the venue actually sing a song by an opener that wasn’t a cover, and I felt everyone stayed very engaged with her.
When Joshua started, he opened with his single “Feel Something.” I love how he changed LA to New York for these shows because it was such a fun, personalized bit. I never noticed this until I was showing a friend a video recently, but I was his first crowd interaction of the night as he sang the line “And most days, dear, you drive me insane, playin’ your games” right to me. I was just wowed by the whole show.
He followed with my favorite song by him titled “Secret.” He played his whole discography with the exception of “Telling Myself,” and he played songs from the Sad Songs In a Hotel Room EP. One unique addition to the set was an unreleased song titled “Sweet Love” which was beautifully performed from the piano.
My personal highlight was when he sang one of my absolute favorite songs “Smoke Slow” to me while holding my hand I felt like I had peaked in life. This was the first moment I’ve ever had with an artist like that, and catching that on video still motivates me to get out of bed in the morning sometimes.
He covered “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls and “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5.
In general, the most exciting part of the show was when he asked the crowd to “part the red sea” during “Finally Free” and jumped literally right in front of me. Everyone was super respectful, and we were all jumping, having the best time.
When he got back onto the stand, he stood on top of the stool and started spinning. He closed with an emotional yet high energy “Set Me Free.” During the second verse, he messed up the lyrics and told the crowd “Scream it’s been a fuckin’ year, fuck it!” He jumped from the piano and was bouncing all over the stage, and he did his double peace sign to exit.
I also attended the second night which was also a ton of fun and felt like he was a lot smoother at points. Genuinely such a great performer and it was barely noticeable that these were some of his first shows. I would say that the concert etiquette was mostly there on both nights.
I will say that during night 2 Josh’s friends Saylor Curda and Andrew B Feldman showed up during Lindsey’s act, and a lot of the crowd completely ignored her for a solid 30 seconds over it. However, I felt that there was not a ton of pushing overall in comparison to the last show I attended.
Everyone around me both nights was very sweet, and I cannot wait to do it all over again during The Complicated Tour! I’m sure the American crowd will love Lindsey as an opener and appreciate Joshua’s stage presence.