Joy Crookes’ grandmother dreamed of immigrating to the United States to start a new life. She settled on the “19th floor” of a building in London and never made it there.
Years and generations later, Joy Crookes is on her debut North American tour realizing the dreams of both her grandmother and herself. Through regular calls, “my grandmother is vicariously living through me.”
The latest stop on the shared adventure was Boston’s Sinclair on April 5.
The poignant and intimate show opened with Simpson. The Virginia native sang both old releases and fresh not-yet-recorded songs. She engaged, joked and dueted with the crowd.
Simpson’s chill vibe energized the audience and set the tone for Joy Crookes’ captivating set.
Joy has an R&B/Soul voice with a hint of Amy Winehouse. Her smooth vocals dispensed like honey throughout her performances of track off her 2021 album Skin.
Her song “19th Floor” paid homage to her grandmother. “I was raised by the river, 19th floor,” she crooned.
Joy also included a Kendrick Lamar song, although if she didn’t note that it was a cover, the crowd may have never known. She made it her own.
Joy’s blunt honesty was present in conversation and mesmerizing storytelling songs like “Poison,” which openly shared the history of generational trauma.
She told the crowd that “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” was the fake last song and was the opportunity for her to pee before the encore.
She then returned to the stage without her band for a stripped down song at the piano.
She finished out the night with “You Were Mine.”
“That was the shit,” Joy told the crowd and one sure to be shared with her grandmother.