Joywave at The Truman

Over Thanksgiving break, I attended my first show at The Truman in Kansas City. This might be my new favorite venue. It looks like an abandoned storage building, it’s small enough that you feel close to the band, AND there’s huge fans hanging from the ceiling, so you’re not hot despite being in a crowd of people. It’s a newer venue with bands set to play like Shinedown, The Wombats, Milky Chance, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Phillip Phillips, and Andrew McMahon, so I highly suggest checking it out.

The first opener of the night was Maybird. They both looked and sounded like they came straight out of the seventies. The guitarist was wearing a “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” t-shirt, and had a puppet from the show, Roy, sitting on the front of the stage, which made me immediately like them.

The next opener was The Aces, a four piece girl group from Utah. Their pop/blues sound is very reminiscent to the latest Paramore album. It was their last night touring with Joywave, so they had the computer monitors say things like “I’m going to name my dog Joywave” and “Joywave is better than Arcade Fire” while playing a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The three-part harmony to that song is something I never knew I needed to hear. Then Joywave came out and performed the song with them, which just made the whole thing even more fun to watch.

The final opener was KC natives, Hembree. The best way to describe their sound is electronic jazz. Halfway through their set they announced that they were added to the bill for “The Night The Buzz Stole Christmas” with the band Phoenix, which was really exciting. It’s great to see Kansas bands be successful.

Then it was finally time for Joywave. As their crew was getting ready for them to perform, “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night” and “Down With the Sickness”, but very distorted. They were slowed down, and didn’t have any instrumentals behind the vocals. For any attendee who doesn’t know anything about Joywave, this was a clear indication of what was to come.

All the TVs on the stage then showed black and white text with loud dial up computer noises coming out of all the speakers. The band then went into “Content”. After playing a few songs (including one of my favorites, “It’s a Trip”) they thanked someone in the audience. One of their CRT monitors broke during their last concert in St. Louis, and this person brought a new one in exchange for seeing the concert for free. Joywave then pretended like the new monitor caused a virus to all the other monitors, which showed yellow error/alert warnings before playing “Destruction”.

The band also used the monitors to play their new music video for “Doubt”, which looks like an old home movie of all the band members. They also played “Going to a Place” with an incredibly long keyboard outro, where all the other band members left the stage and came back.

During the encore the band played their most popular song, “Tongues”. The Aces repayed the favor, coming on stage and doing a choreographed dance. The whole thing just showed how much fun the bands had performing with each other, and was a great way to round out the night.

Overall, I’m super glad I took the time to see/support these bands, and I definitely want to see Joywave the next time they perform in KC.

By: Monica Brich

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