Artist Vs. Poet's Joe Kirkland Scored Big on Last Night's Season Premiere of The Voice.
North Texas has had its share of competitors on The Voice in the past. Coppell's Sharon Mathai and Oak Cliff's Anthony Evans, who both competed in the most recently completed, second season of the popular NBC reality singing competition, immediately come to mind.
But never, we admit, had we ever really heard of any of these local competitors prior to their exposure on The Voice — not like we had with Austin's Nakia, a season one fan favorite.
That all changed, though, during the premiere of the show's third season last night as Fort Worth-born singer Joe Kirkland, the current frontman for area mall-punk stalwarts Artist Vs. Poet, not only participated in the show's ever-entertaining blind audition process, but also saw his talents fought over between coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. (Kirkland, citing his own experience in a pop band, eventually picked Levine, as you can see in the clip at the end of this post.)
Here's the funny thing about Kirkland, though: He didn't even start out at Artist Vs. Poet's lead singer. That distinction belongs to one Tarcy Thomason, the longtime area pop-punk vocalist who formed that band in 2007. Kirkland was brought in mostly to add some high energy behind Thomason in the form of backing vocals and his play as the band's second guitarist.
That changed, however, in April of last year, when Thomason, who has since left North Texas for North Florida, left the band to focus on his young, burgeoning family at home. In certain circles, Thomason's departure — especially when coupled with the in-tandem departure of original drummer Joe Westbrook and the news that Kirkland would replace him on lead vocals — was big news, leaving fans of Artist Vs. Poet, which had been previously signed to Fearless Records, to question the band's future. Those concerns haven't turned out to be wholly unfounded. Since Thomason's departure, Kirkland and Co. have been active mostly through posting pop-punk covers of pop songs to their YouTube page. And, in December, even with Kirkland and the band's remaining members moving to Los Angeles to give the band a go out there, Artist Vs. Poet was dropped from Fearless.
With Kirkland's early success on The Voice, however, things seem to be picking up for the once-local boys once more. Certainly, the fact that the band was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter last night is a good sign of their bouncing back.
Plus, let's be real. If we have to listen to The All-American Rejects' “Give You Hell,” we might as well listen to Kirkland perform it capably. Check it out for yourself below.