Joywave 10/20/15

(a) setlist

  1. Destruction
  2. Carry Me
  3. In Clover
  4. Feels Like a Lie
  5. True Grit
  6. Now
  7. Don’t Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young cover)
  8. Nice House
  9. Golden State
  10. Ridge
  11. Parade
  12. Traveling at the Speed of Light
  13. Bad Dreams (w/ Mikaela Davis on harp lead-in instrumental)
  14. Somebody New
  15. Life in a Bubble I Blew
  16. Tongues
  17. Destruction

(b) highlights

  • this felt like perhaps the first Joywave headlining show where they really got to dictate the show; they weren’t opening for anyone, they were fully independent and self-sufficiently awesome
  • they played “Golden State”!! it’s my favorite deep cut from their first EP Koda Vista and I was beyond psyched to see that live
  • the crowd was surprisingly into it the entire time, regardless of being overwhelmingly male – a fact true only for this particular Joywave show, I’ve found
  • loved that the band mentioned having extra money in their budget from the label, which led to them purchasing like a 10-foot tall blow-up replica of their keyboardist Ben Bailey – classiccccc
  • the band did the classic Joywave move of playing only half of “Tongues” before jumping into a second performance of “Destruction” – alright, alright you got me

(c) lowlights

  • could we have at least finished “Tongues” before going into “Destruction” twice? yes, yes we could have

(d) overall thoughts

Undeniably, this show was fun from beginning to end. It truly felt like Joywave was throwing a party and invited all their best friends to hang out. Their CultCo labelmates Kopps opened and they, like Joywave, are fun but in a strangely unique way. My friends and I were in the front row and the night was very much an intimate celebration of Joywave’s success.

The high-energy set kept the room consistently alive as the band relentlessly drove through both the newer hits and the older deep cuts. The band’s self-aware banter and aggressive dancing felt refreshing and exciting, like we were all apart of the band’s growing history. They’re very much a band that understands the notion of performance; every show feels like you’re watching them at a very timely and important moment in their career. It feels like they’re honestly on the verge of blowing up in the music world in a real way. I hope that happens – not only to feel like I was part of a band’s rise but really because they deserve it. Joywave works hard to win audience’s over and I’ll always appreciate that.

As previously mentioned, in classic Joywave manner, the band stopped probably their biggest hit to date, “Tongues” and ended the set with a second performance of “Destruction.” It was funny, I appreciated the sentiment, and it was additionally super cool that that performance ended being heavily featured in their tour music video for “Destruction” (which my friends and I are in!), but…I really wanted to hear all of “Tongues,” guys! Ah, well.

Bottom line: Joywave are fun and talented, and damn, do they know it. They screw around with the crowd at the crowd’s expense quite a bit, but I appreciate that they take risks and never, never bore me.