Understand the Band, Understand the Audience: A Review of the Joyce Manor Concert at the Vera Project on December 15th

The last time I saw Joyce Manor at The Vera Project they had been slightly disappointing due to an early end because Barry’s voice couldn’t take all of his angst any more. Expecting much more this time I was not disappointed.

The opener Toys That Kill just put together a split 7” with Joyce Manor off of Recess Records that I had to pick up in clear yellow vinyl. The split included rerecording’s of Times We Can’t Let Go and I Am Decided by Toys That Kill, and See how Tame I Can Be and Bride of Usher renamed Tame and Bride. Toys That Kill who I haven’t followed to closely is quite a bit older in age than I thought they would be. Despite their apparent age the band had huge energy and threw an awesome punk show that hyped up all of the tweens for the Joyce Manor set.

Joyce Manor threw a show that Joyce Manor is expected to throw. The set was full of angry emotions and generation leading chants that kept the crowd moshing and excited. The one negative comment I had toward the show was to the crowd. Though I think I can attribute it to ignorance rather than arrogance, fans need to know the band they are watching. Joyce Manor has recently caught some flack for calling out fans at their shows for crowd surfing because it can be very dangerous — especially if there are very small people in the front of the crowd that have to catch people much larger than themselves. This was a pretty clear stance again crowd surfing. At the Vera Project show a few gutsy fans still felt the need to continue to crowd surf, which I thought to be a bit dumb.

But anyway, back to the music. Joyce Manor played most of their new album “Never Hung Over Again,” my favorite being “Heart Tattoo,” and also mixed a ton of old stuff like the classic banger “Constant Headache.” I heard 90 percent of the crowd belt it at the top of the lungs which was extremely invigorating.

The wonder of Joyce Manor is that they write such short songs that they can play a good majority of them in one set. Though songs like “Leather Jacket” and “Christmas Card” were perfect, the most perfect song played all night was the last song “5 Beer Plan.” “5 Beer Plan” off of their sophomore album Collection is one of Joyce Manor’s most emotionally fluctuating songs. Starting extremely slow and moving into a super radical anthem, the song was the best ending song choice I have ever heard. It was emotional, it was sad, it was angry, it was inspiring, it was a great shift of energy, it was every reason one loves Joyce Manor and it was planned out perfectly. Once again, I say humbly, “Thank you Vera Project.”

Marcus Shriver / A Picture in 4D / KXSU Promotions and Live Event Coordinator


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