As an artist, where you come from is just as important as where you’re going. The music of your youth, the places you’ve been, the people you’ve met; all of it combines in both subtle and obvious ways to help guide you on your pathway to success. America’s Got Talent champion Grace Vanderwaal understands this idea quite well and recently returned to the site of some of her earliest triumphs for a super-secret, fans-only performance ahead of the kickoff to her larger Just The Beginning tour.
The Bean Runner Café is a modest venue, but one that carries a lot of history and memories for Vanderwaal. “Grace, when she was 11, came here to do open-mic night,” Vanderwaal’s mom Tina explained. “So much happened here to put her where she is…If she had not had the Bean Runner, I don’t know that she could’ve sung for all those people at AGT.” Grace agreed. “It’s what started it all,” she said.
Armed with just a ukulele, Vanderwaal gifts the tiny, seated crowd before her with a set packed with the kind of passion and poise that endeared her to millions of people discovering her for the first time on their television sets just two years ago. 1,300 people all across the world entered into a contest for a chance to make this super-secret, one-of-a-kind gig, but in the end, only 20 were chosen.
“Some of my best, most loyal fans were here,” she noted. More than that, they showed up with gifts and high expectations, ones that Vanderwaal not only met, but somehow managed to exceed. “I can feel my heart beating out of my chest,” one young fan said. It was a night filled with heady memories for Grace, and a night her fans won’t forget themselves anytime soon.
Check out the recap of Grace Vanderwaal’s intimate set at the Bean Runner Café above.