A Pretty OK Concert: Mt. Joy in Bristol, UK
If you've been reading my writing here for a while, you might remember my post about going to Bonnaroo in 2017. I covered my favorite acts of the festival, including my ultimate winner: Mt. Joy, a Philly-by-way-of-Los-Angeles band with an infectious indie/folk-rock sound. The group's early songs caught my attention, but getting to see them live blew me away. Despite seeing them at a less-than-ideal time, I was struck by how closely their live performance resembled their recordings.
Alas, Mt. Joy took their time releasing their first full-length album, but there were enough tantalizing singles leading up to the March 2018 release of Mt. Joy that I was still satisfied. I didn't buy the physical album until much later, but I streamed it on release date and loved it. Many of the songs were the singles I had heard before, but the new inclusions meshed well and made the album a cohesive production. My favorite songs on the album are "Jenny Jenkins" and "Dirty Love."
I keep tabs on my favorite artists to see when and where they are touring, and Mt. Joy fits the bill for sure, so I was excited to find they had a show in Bristol at the Louisiana. At the time I didn't know much about Bristol venues, but I had heard that the Louisiana was intimate and small, so I was sure that the show would sell out, especially at the bare-bones price of eight pounds. Turns out I was wrong, so I bought a ticket and showed up.
The size of the Louisiana is hard to describe. Intimate might be an understatement; I doubt the room even fits 100 people. There is no backstage area, so band members have to walk through the audience to perform. This also makes encores practically impossible. But while such a small venue may have been awkward for the performers, it was a unique and wonderful experience for me.
Like at Bonnaroo, the show had some unfortunate issues. Technical problems abounded, from the PA system overloading to the lead zinger getting zapped by static from the microphone. But despite the setbacks, Mt. Joy put on a tremendous show. They caught my attention immediately and never let it go.
After the concert, the band was at the merch table talking to eager audience members. Thanks to a couple of beers during the show, I worked up the courage to talk about seeing them at Bonnaroo, writing about my experience, and my excitement when they liked my post on Facebook. They were talkative and fun, and it capped off a great night.
Obviously I'm here to tell you to check out Mt. Joy, especially "Jenny Jenkins" and "Dirty Love." But more than that, what I'm here to tell you is that you should go out and support the bands that you love. As the podcast crew has discussed, streaming a band's music doesn't put much money in their pockets, so you should go see them live. And if you find yourself with the opportunity, say hi after the show. Thank them for what they're doing, and let them know you appreciate them.
Until next time.