Concert Review: Joyce Manor, The Hotelier, Crying

I just got back from seeing Joyce Manor with The Hotelier and Crying at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. We took the train to lovely Brooklyn which is always so nice. It usually goes a lot faster than expected, and then you’re suddenly in a totally different place. BK feels a lot like San Francisco to me because it’s lower and you can look out. Also lots of hipsters, gentrification, real estate wars and bicyclists. So some of the good and some of the bad.

We missed some of Crying’s set which was sad because I like them, but the songs we did hear were awesome. She has a sick voice and their music has a really unique sound (especially the electronic shit and the drums).

The Hotelier was okay. When I was a lot more emo/sad I really liked their album It Never Goes Out (2007), but I never really got into their other music. Unfortunately they really didn’t play anything off of said known album, and the stuff they did play I did not like as much. Also some asshole guys on the balcony were yelling mean things at the band and throwing beer which occasionally hit us. Nice! These asshole guys will make another appearance later in this review.

Joyce Manor was dope as always. I’ve seen them approximately 6 times including at tiny SF spaces like Amoeba and The Chapel. They were as fun as ever! Insane energy, crazy crowd, and Barry is always a great/engaging frontman. The friend who came with me to the show was laughing at me earlier in the night for saying I’m not emo/pop punk because, as she pointed out: “We’re here aren’t we!” However, my lack of knowledge of recently released Joyce Manor was proof of my no longer being (as) emo. I don’t know their most recently released two albums very well. I was also totally the person most excited in the crowd when they played shit off their demo. The new stuff was fun live, and I’ve listened to and enjoyed it before, but it’s not as good as ST or their other early stuff in my opinion. Every time I see them they play fewer of the songs I love which is sad, but tonight they did play Housewarming Party which could be my all time favorite song.

So it was a good show. However, unfortunately, aforementioned assholes threw a fucking folding chair down on the crowd from the balcony which hit me in the eye. My eye currently has a bump and is red and hurts. So fuck that. I hate when punk/rock/emo/pop punk shows get so rowdy that only a select few members of the crowd (usually larger men) get to have a fun time. Moshing, pushing, stage diving etc is dope but not when at the expense of others. And chair throwing is never chill . . . Literally fuck that. Music Hall of Williamsburg people were super cool about it though. They sent the manager out to say he was sorry and would take care of it. Apparently the guys were arrested.

Regardless of injuries it was a super fun show! Thank you BK! Thank you Joyce Manor! Thank you Music Hall of Williamsburg!

Also I’m listening to The Band while writing this, and it’s so damn good go listen.

Modern Baseball!

I promised a Mobo post a long time ago and never delivered. I’m sorry! Here it is.

I honestly don’t remember how I discovered Modern Baseball. I think I got into Tigers Jaw (post will come) first and then just kept exploring the Run for Cover Records family. Sidenote: RFC is the freaking best record company in the universe. They have wonderful bands that they treat well, and the record company itself is composed of the coolest guys ever. I stopped watching Tuesdays With Tay, but my god it used to be my favorite Tuesday ritual. Bean Dip and Alex are the coolest guys ever and Tay is so funny. If you don’t already support RFC please consider checking out their bands, buying their merch and watching their funny videos.

So I found Modern Baseball somehow. Then I hardcore fell for Sports. The whole record is perfect. The lyrics said exactly everything I was feeling as a sad little sophomore in high school and the music is fun and upbeat and quirky. “The Weekend” literally articulated everything I was feeling while also being fun and happy and way too catchy. Also Brendan’s vocals are just perfectly pop punk but with a fun nerd rock twist. IT IS SO IRRESISTIBLE.

Also their image is just too perfect. I mean some pop punk bands simply aren’t believable because the band members all look like god damn male models with chiseled muscles and frat boy clothing (talking about you Parker Cannon of The Story So Far). Modern Baseball is believable. Ian Farmer is a total ragamuffin nerd, Brendan is quite pudgy, and Jake is a nerdy looking short guy. You know these guys really were miserable in high school. It just makes the music feel that much more honest. The lyrics are all quite introspective and actually come off as extremely emotionally mature and self aware, but you also know they’re teenagers. I think I like pop punk because it’s generally (maybe surprisingly) so genuine, self reflective, and honest as a genre.

Anyways Sports is a perfect record. I was going to pick out my favorite songs, but honestly I like every song on that album. Hours Outside in the Snow or The Weekend or Coals or Tears Over Beers likely my favorites.

Then I discovered their old EPs and splits and COULD NOT STOP listening to “It’s Cold Out Here.”

Then they released “You’re Gonna Miss it All” right before I saw them on a super small stage in Oakland with a bunch of other more punk bands. YGMIA never disappointed for a second. I think it’s a wonderful record, and I love tons of songs off of it (namely Apartment and Rock Bottom). However, it never really earned the same place in my heart that Sports inhabits. I think that’s mostly due to timing and when I discovered Sports. Anyways, the show was awesome. Modern Baseball looked so funny and cute and not punk compared to the other bands playing the venue that evening. It was before they kinda blew up and you could really feel the excitement of the crowd. We knew that they were good and that people would know about them.

And they did blow up (for a pop punk RFC band). You’re Gonna Miss it All sold a lot and “Your Graduation” was a big hit. I actually even occasionally see it on Apple Music playlists!!! Also the New York Times recently did a piece on the band so you know they’ve basically made it.

Anyways I love them dearly and only wish the very best for Brendan, Jake, Ian and Sean. Thank you guys for always liking my tweets about your band and being nice cool people. Thank you for being nerdy guys in a pop punk band who don’t care about looking cool. Sending much pop punk love your way.

P.S. I have the Into It Over It shirt Brendan is wearing in the picture above!

UPDATE: I was just reading an AV Club article about MoBo’s desire to create a safe place at their shows and came upon this quote from Jake: “I can’t even imagine what it feels like to be a 16-year-old girl and love music and really want to play music—but go to a show and see four men on a stage, followed by four men on a stage, followed by four men on a stage. They have to think that the chance of becoming part of that feels so slim.” It’s so damn cool that he realizes how white and male pop punk is and wants to change it.



Just a warning to all past lovers of blink-182 that the new album is quite terrible and not worth listening to. I am (mostly was) a fan of their self titled album and “Take off Your Pants and Jacket”, but their new album titled “California” is not even worth a listen.

A notable low point: 

The last song is 30 seconds long and mostly drumming and then just “there’s something about you that I can’t quite put my finger in.” Then the album ends.