Author: Joe Mitchell
Last Monday, The High Noon Saloon in Madison hosted rock group Joyce Manor. The night was kicked off by the first opener Peach Kelli Pop, whose dynamic Ramones-structured rock got the crowd into it from the very beginning. The bands founder and lead Allie Hanlon made sure to get the crowd into it by playing some of their bigger songs like “Dreamphone” and song off their new album “Hello Kitty Knife”. Next, the Boston indie rock group Vundabar took the stage. They wasted no time playing the song “Alien Blues”, whose catchy and easily picked up chorus had even those who were not as familiar with the group singing along. Lead singer and guitarist Brandon Hagen showed off his prowess of the guitar as he played fast-paced riffs while contorting his fender in every which way. Brandon had some fun with the crowd by taking a minute break in the middle of the song “Acetone” just to jump right back in and finish the rest of the number. These two groups could have easily had been headliners themselves but the reason why people were there was still coming up.
Excitement from the diehard fans was raising as the mosh pit at the front of the stage amplified into more of a mosh abyss. As Joyce Manor took the stage, the energy level in the building hit a new tier. They kicked off the show with a classic and fan favorite “Falling in Love Again” an emotionally charged ballad that showed off lead singer Barry Johnsons ability to perform his songs live, and he really can do it well. Johnson’s vocals through the whole show were rock solid, even with his high energy performing style he never lost a step. Another credit to Johnson goes to his capacity to play lead guitar. After seeing Brandon Hagen of Vundabar wow the crowd with his incredible showmanship, Johnson did a great job of carrying it on. Being everything a guitarist in a punk rock band should be plus more. The band continued playing a mix of old classics like “Heart Tattoo”. And new ones playing the title song off their new album “Million Dollars to Kill Me”. The night hit its climax when the band performed their biggest song “Constant Headache” which had the fans jumping in the front of the stage screaming and singing even louder. Ending the show with what is now a mandatory encore, Joyce Manor preformed “Catalina Fight Song” and “Christmas Card” leaving fans satisfied.
Overall, the show was full of incredible energy, and every act had its own facet that made it special. The showmanship from all the bands was top notch, especially for being a Monday stop in Madison on what seems like a long tour. One take away I have is next time Joyce Manor comes to Madison I’ll be sure to memorize all the words to their songs (or maybe just the hits) and be sure join in on the singing and jumping fans having the time of their lives.