I really just love how Joywave doesn’t give a shit about 90% of anything ever going on
“Golden State”!!! one of my favs from the band’s first EP Koda Vista
I’ve noticed in the recent past that, as a band, Joywave has developed a bit of a chip on their shoulder since the release of their last album How Do You Feel Now?, which I mentioned in previous reviews, but I didn’t feel that too much at this show; in fact, the band felt pretty genuine and happy to be performing – that was great
this setlist was ace – loved it from beginning to end
playing “Destruction” twice is still hilarious after about two years of this schtick going on, but…I like “Tongues” and I want to hear the whole thing; for the second time live, Joywave has cut “Tongues” in half to interject “Destruction” a second time and I’m hoping this will be the last time
the median age of the average concert-goer at this event was roughly 16 and I don’t know why
the Music Hall of Williamsburg is such a garbage venue – how does a MUSIC hall continually have SOUND issues??? like, every show???
(d) overall thoughts
Joywave have grown quite a bit in the past year or so. I feel privileged to have seen Joywave a little less than a dozen times now over the last three years, so I’m pretty confident in thinking that their best days are ahead of them. They’re fun, solid performers who know how to take control of the audience and set the mood quickly and assertively.
Because they’ve opened for and toured with so many different bands – Bleachers, Betty Who, Silversun Pickups, Foals, Brandon Flowers, Kopps – their audiences at every show seem to be wildly different. This Music Hall of Williamsburg show in particular had a very, very young audience with only about half having seen the band before. Marketing can do a lot, right?
Essentially, the energy was high, the setlist was great, and baring a few sound issues, Joywave was fantastic. They mentioned they were recording for their next album, which can only mean good things, and I definitely will go out of my way to catch them again.
Bottom line: If you like solid tunes, sassy frontmen with bad facial hair, and a good time, check out Joywave. Or The Killers circa the 2006 Sam’s Town era – both aptly apply.
Bad Dreams (w/ Mikaela Davis on harp lead-in instrumental)
Life in a Bubble I Blew
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
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.