Have you ever had that moment when you’ve seen a band before and then you see them a few years later and it’s like seeing a whole new band? That is the moment I had with Joywave on Wednesday night at First Avenue’s 7th Street Entry. I knew I had seen them a few years back when I was still living in LA, opening for someone at some little venue. The funny thing, in retrospect, is I don’t remember who they were opening for but I remember Joywave. Perhaps that should have been a bit of foresight into the band that Joywave would evolve into over the next few years.
Since that random show Joywave opened in LA, this Rochester, New York based 5-piece is well on their way to becoming one of the biggest names in the world of indie electronica pop. Joywave’s stop at Minneapolis was a part of their THANKS. THANKS FOR COMING TOUR, which is in support of their newest album Content. There is a sweet spot that Joywave hit on this newest LP that we really hadn’t seen from prior releases. It’s hookier, it’s catchier, it’s dancier – and it shows. The way this new, laid-back poppier, groovier sound Joywave is exploring on Content translated into an infectiously feel-good live set.
This five-piece is fronted by vocalist Daniel Armbruster – who in and off himself is a showman. Armbruster has also been with Joywave since their birth into band-om in 2010. His live persona is somewhere between aloof and astute. At the Entry he engaged with the crowd while not overdoing the “banter,” and let the music and the band take center stage – as it should. This twinges of back to good old-fashioned rock n’ roll that was felt in Joywave’s set was refreshing to the list. Sure they had lights and staging, but that didn’t take away from the band itself. The sold-out crowd at 7th Street Entry was eating up every bit of it. It’s been awhile since I’ve covered an Entry sized show that fans were singing along song after song.
Joywave’s Wednesday night show was one you didn’t want to end. From top to bottom of the set Armbruser and Joywave had the crowd dancing and singing along. Maybe it was the care-free night before Thanksgiving vibe or maybe it was the seemingly endless supply of tall boys flowing from the bar, but more likely it was the feel-good music of Joywave that made for the perfect start to a long, holiday weekend.
Set List: Content / Now / It’s A Trip / Shutdown / Life in a Bubble I Blew / Parade / Traveling at the Speed of Light / Rumors / Golden State / Destruction / Doubt / Somebody New / Going To A Place / Encore: Confidence / Nice House / Tongues / Thanks. Thanks for Coming
Supporting Joywave is another band destined for big things – Utah-based four-piece The Aces. For The Aces – this tour with Joywave is their first-ever tour – however, from their set, it’s evident that these four are no strangers to the stage. I’ve been following The Aces since the release of their breakout single Stuck, which they released shortly after signing to Red Bull Records. The Aces followed up the infectiously catchy Stuck with a few other singles before releasing their EP entitled I Don’t Like Being Honest.
For their set, that also felt way too short, The Aces played the entirety of the EP, a near perfect cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and a handful of unreleased tracks. It’s clear that The Aces have plenty more songs up their sleeves, and we’re anxiously awaiting the release of their debut album. The Aces’ utter command of the entirety of 7th Street Entry truly rivaled some of the biggest names in music I’ve seen. Their ability to get a packed room singing and clapping along to songs the crowd had never heard spoke to that command The Aces, and particularly frontwoman Cristal Ramirez posses. Backing Ramirez is Katie Henderson on guitar/vocals, McKenna Petty on bass/vocals and her younger sister Alisa Ramirez on drums. There’s is an undenible chemisty these four childhood best friends (and two sisters) have on stage. It makes for one of those sets you never want to end. Keep The Aces on your radar as 2018 is sure to be a big year for these four.
And finally – kicking off the evening ahead of Joywave and The Aces was NYC-based Maybird. This four-piece is currently touring in support of their latest EP Unraveling, which was released this summer via Danger Mouses’s label 30th Century Records. Though Maybird was the opening slot on the ticket, they didn’t let that stop them from putting on one hell of set. Maybird’s psychedelic-rock sound made for the perfect way to start the evening. Their sound is both gritty and polished – folky and rocky – poppy and chillwave. With their genre-bending sound, we can expect to see plenty more for Maybird in the coming months. hem from putting on one hell of set.