Tony Vincent Already Has The Voice
When you bring up Tony Vincent to people, you never know quite what you are going to have someone reply with. Some people know him from Broadway, where he took the lead in shows such as Rent and We Will Rock You, or where he took the villainous position, such as in Jesus Christ Superstar and American Idiot. Or, if you are one of the unlucky few to never have seen nor watched a video of him performing in one of his musical ventures, you may know him from NBC's The Voice, where he rocked the stage until he was eliminated by Cee-Lo Green after his first live performance. You may even know his original work, some of which is scattered on YouTube. But if you do not know him, maybe it would be a good idea to look him up.
Tony Vincent brings versatility to the table; as a Broadway actor, it is more or less required of him. He has an amazing range and can communicate so much with simple expressions and inflections in his singing that many mainstream artists will never be able to touch. I first noticed this the first time I ever heard him singing, which was on "St. Jimmy" off of the American Idiot: Original Broadway Cast album that was recorded with, you guessed it, the original Broadway cast of American Idiot. Without ever having seen his face or having heard him before then, I instantly fell in love. The pure darkness I heard in his voice as he channeled St. Jimmy, the villain of American Idiot and the alter ego of the main character, was amazing to me. Since "St. Jimmy" was the first Green Day song I ever heard, it piqued my interested I enjoyed his rendition so much. In a matter of weeks, I had watched every scene from every musical he has been in available on YouTube, including a full recording of American Idiot.
Naturally, when he appeared on The Voice, I came out of my seat screaming in excitement because I was sure he had the show in the bag. With a beautiful, passionate performance of "We Are The Champions," Tony landed a place on Team Cee-Lo, AKA The Red Zone. But why would only one chair turn for him when the coaches only had nice things to say? His voice alone compelled me to become a fan, and singing Queen songs, there is so much clear power and force in his voice. Perhaps, of course, more people would have been geared to turn around had they watched him perform, watched his facial expressions and the way he moved, but the auditions are blind, so fair enough. But it was still jarring. His vocals showed so much careful training, working to make each note clear and vivid, and it was obvious he was a talented individual. And yet no one but one person turns.
When pitted against close friend Justin Hopkins for a duet on the song "Faithfully" by Journey, Tony pulled out all the stops, his voice soaring so high it filled the room and moved Cee-Lo (and myself) to tears. Even better was the connection between the two men, the friendship that was there that allowed them to give so much more because it was not just a show to them. They were friends, encouraging each other, just wanting to do their best, rather than outdo the other person. While Justin's rougher vocals were enjoyable as well, I was yet again swayed by Tony's clear and brilliant voice, the way he moved and his facial expressions. Biased fan is biased, I suppose, but just seeing him put his all into an old favorite of mine was stirring in many ways. I've always been a fan of "Faithfully," and just listening to Tony's beautiful voice was amazing. Of course, it goes without saying I downloaded the song when it became available, and I still listen to it every day.
The live shows were, for me, problematic because I did not agree with most of the song choices, and my horror at knowing Tony would be performing "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" choked me for a moment. Though Tony himself is a fan of Tears For Fears, as stated in an interview with Jermaine Paul and Charlotte Sometimes, I have never been one and despise that song. But, as always, Tony came through with a dramatic, almost playful performance despite the dark tint to the performance. The creepy guys in black dancing beside the podium were a bit much, but altogether, I think that it came together to represent what the song is truly about, what the title clearly states. Everybody wants to rule the world, and though the song sounds light, the weight of that could be felt during Tony's performance. Though I have long hated that song, I grew to love it and, yes, I still listen to it. Hard not to when his voice is far more attractive to me than the original singer's.
When he was dropped to the bottom three, I was wounded but understood, and when the music began for "Sweet Dreams," I felt a surge of hope. With nothing more in the beginning but a pair of kohl-lined, intense blue eyes, Tony Vincent brought that song to a higher level, his voice low and dark at the beginning. The audience was into it, clapping and cheering for him, and clearly, they enjoyed his cover. I know I did. For a last chance performance, I think he could have done no better even if he had busted out a Queen hit from his days back in We Will Rock You. He did the Eurythmics justice with very limited movement with just his voice, and that, to me, should be the point of the show. But instead, he was sent home in favor of Cheesa.
To me, Tony Vincent already has the Voice, and many of his fans will agree... Especially those who rose in outrage at his ousting from the show. Of course, as luck would have it, Tony is far from done in the music would. His new EP, In My Head, has already received adulation from his fans, and why not when he has, yet again, wrote beautiful music to go with a beautiful voice? I may have first met his unique voice in the form of St. Jimmy, but I'll always remember him as Tony Vincent, the husband of a loving wife, the father of a beautiful little girl, and one of the most amazing vocalists to ever appear on The Voice. As the one who already has the Voice whether he won or not.