In a packed Majestic Theatre Thursday, co-headliners Joywave and Sir Sly, along with opener Flora Cash, electrified the crowd with both exhilarating music and a thrilling stage presence from each headliners’ frontmen.
Flora Cash is known for their soft, warmer sound, and it was surprising to see them put on a very upbeat performance, as the crowd was just as into their music as during any principal act. While they stuck to their acoustic guitar and higher vocals, the amount of bass-heavy synth and louder beats shining through made the performance a great introduction for the night — preparing attendees for the elated sound of the next two acts.
Following a break, Joywave came out to a fully prepared crowd. Jumping into the music right away, it was clear that the band was prepared as well.
Bands often tour following a new album’s release, but Joywave’s last full album was in July of 2017. For that reason, they were able to prepare the setlist around their fans’ wishes, playing favorites like “It’s A Trip!”
With a grooving guitar riff, “It’s A Trip!” brought out dance moves from many crowd members and at least head nods from the others. As the song flowed into the chorus, the song opens up into a much less “grooving” and more driven sound, and the crowd matched that shift in intensity, jumping around with hands in the air.
The grooving sound of the verses transferred incredibly well into a live setting, but the rest of the concert much more matched that invigorating sound of the chorus. One of the highlights of the concert was “Somebody New,” off their first album How Do You Feel Now?
Another highlight of Joywave’s hour was the outro song. Stating they had one song left, they started “Tongues,” one of their biggest hits. With the distinctive synth line of the song, the crowd recognized it right away and erupted into cheers.
Halfway through a great performance, the audio suddenly cut out. Claiming the fault of technical difficulties, Armbruster went back to the backdrop of dozens of lit up boxes with varied words on it. Another of the bands hits, “Destruction” started as Armbruster hit the sign with the name of the song on it, surprising the entire crowd. It was a great way to close out their section of the concert, as a sort of last hurrah for both the band and the fans.
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Following Joywave, second headliner Sir Sly stepped on stage. Playing after a synth-heavy indie band, Sir Sly was noticeably more punk influenced. The feeling of the music changed, but the energy of the crowd stayed just as amped as before.
Compared to Joywave’s five members, Sir Sly had three, but their sound rang through just as well.
Lead singer Landon Jacobs fronted the band’s heavier sound, placing the drums just as far forward as him on stage, leading to a more raucous sound than both previous acts in songs like “&Run” and “High” off their 2017 album Don’t You Worry, Honey.
They balanced that sound well, though, with more mellow songs like “Altar” and most notably “Ghost.” The latter has a very transcendent sound in the studio, and they tapped into that sound very well for the live performance.
During “Ghost,” Jacobs managed to climb up onto the balcony of the theater, slowly walking above the crowd as he straddled the railing of the upper deck. When a singer does something like this, it often amps up a crowd, but doing it during a song like “Ghost” instead caused an almost spiritual feeling in the theater as a trance fell over the crowd, who all quietly looked up at Jacobs.
The song was the highlight of the entire concert for many attendees. After he came down, Jacobs took the break to, as he put it, “speak his truth.”
He talked to a silent crowd about his struggle with mental health and alcoholism following his divorce and the death of his mother. He urged any in the crowd that may be suffering from similar issues to talk to a professional, and that they weren’t alone.
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It takes a lot of courage to talk about those issues, especially in front of a packed theater, and it spoke to a lot of crowd members, eliciting cheers .
He then went into a beautiful performance of the groups extremely bittersweet song, “Oh Mama,” as Jacobs sings to his mom “One day, I’m gonna sing with you again.” It was a sad performance, contradicting the rest of the concert, but it was a great break to see that side of the band.
All three bands put on a great show, and it was effortless to get absorbed by the music, as fans of all the bands were present.
Both headliners made sure to assure their fans that albums were coming in 2019, so make sure to keep an eye out for future music, as well as potential tours following those albums releases. Any show of theirs is sure to deliver a profound experience.