Steve Grand at Act II Stages Puerto Vallarta
Steve Grand returns for Puerto Vallarta Gay Pride after a record-breaking sell-out run last winter. All-American Boy was the first performer in local history to sellout all shows in advance. Steve Grand has not just broken the rules but has changed the game when it comes to being a successful singer-songwriter in the internet video world. Puerto Vallarta’s reputation is spreading throughout the world and many top successful artists are showing an interest in traveling south to this little slice of Paradise.
He opened the evening with a self-penned “Stay [with me]” which demonstrated to the audience what talent this man possesses with a terrific night win store. During the first numbers, he stood and accompanied himself with his guitar. “Soaking Wet” was a romping yet dreamy vision. Then he admitted that he started with the piano at a young age and considers it his primary instrument. Steve loves his ballads and the crowd responded in pleasure hearing his vocals, firm at times and soft in many instances. A number of the tunes he described as writing when he was ecstatic or down from a bad breakup. At least he gained a song from the disaster. In the lyrics are is true life and Steve bared his inner feelings without apology. A standout was from his first CD “Back to California”. It was a song he wrote concerning his youth and the struggles with maturing. A supportive Katie was there for him and he dedicated the song to all the Katies in everyone’s lives who stood by their sides unwavering.
“We Are the Night” was an early single which sounded like a hit when Steve was upfront flashing his broad smile at the adoring mass. He is an accomplished artist but also downhome and relaxed with the people, even more than during his premier performance run last winter. He has absorbed the Puerto Vallarta vibe and has found a new welcoming home to visit often, making friends daily.
One of his major influencers is Bruce Springsteen and he delighted everyone with “Dancing in the Dark”. That one rocked him into an uptempo sound. John Denver’s “Country Roads” reflected his underlying appreciation of country music around a campfire, certainly not gained in his upbringing in Chicago. “Bennie and the Jets” was a great gift to Elton John, with Steve blasting the song’s rhythm with his piano-playing, bringing the sound to a new level. “Bennies” resounded during the performance.
Grand’s first of many music videos, “All-American Boy”, released in July, 2013, tells the story of unrequited love between two men. This video took the internet by storm when it was released. It led this openly gay artist to be lauded as a trailblazer in the entertainment world and blew up his online views. He has toured worldwide and has also appeared on television. Success can give a person special opportunities and we are so proud he has used his platform to advocate for Human Rights and LGBT Equality.
Steve’s self-proclaimed “ballad zone” continued with “Castle on the Hill”, a newer song from Ed Sheeran whom Steve professed has become one of his adored singers and composers. Steve enveloped the number with his guitar driving the storm of the lyrics. “Black Bird” was embraced by Steve who sang his own version of this Beatles cut. He performed it ever so clearly and sweetly. “We Are the Night” was a well-written song and video of a thrilling relationship. On a serious note, Steve said: “Everything that I have gone through has made me stronger.” The fitting finale to the performance was the song which placed Steve Grand on the map: “All-American Boy”. No matter the country, this is our man. When Steve is on stage he is in dynamic control of those gathered. He gifts you a night to remember. Performances are May 21 and 23 at 7:30 pm, May 26 at 9:30 pm. Show info and tickets available online at www.act2pv.com. Box office open daily except Sunday at 2 pm.
This review written by Puerto Vallarta resident Gary Beck, author of Beck’s Best Restaurant Guide. For more of Beck’s Best: Theater, Cabaret and More: visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/PuertoVallartaShows