The emo punk-rock sensation, Joyce Manor, had two unique sold out shows in Los Angeles’s very own Union Station on January 20, 2018. Joining them was Surf Curse and two different bands. I attended the early matinee show that showcased Peach Kelli Pop whereas the evening show featured French Vanilla.
Union Station’s Historic Ticketing Hall is an interesting venue with huge open space, high ceilings, and large church-like windows which the sun shined through in the early afternoon during the matinee show. It was quite a spectacle to see day turn to night while rocking out at a train station. The venue was jam-packed with excited youngsters that had a keen sense of fashion.
Peach Kelli Pop, a badass female rock band, warmed up the crowd with their bouncy, energetic songs. Then, fans definitely got more rowdy when Surf Curse’s Nick Rattigan began his iconic, heavy drumming. The crowd was already working up a sweat by the time the Torrance, CA natives of Joyce Manor walked onto the stage.
I’ve seen Joyce Manor live numerous times and every time is revitalizing. There is always an amazing crowd response and an epic mosh pit. Joyce Manor started off with a bang with “Beach Community” and proceeded to play other fan favorites like “Constant Headache,” “Heart Tattoo,” and “Catalina Fight Song.” The ever-so-charming frontman, Barry Johnson, entertained the crowd with stage banter about public transportation in light of the train station venue. He cracked jokes about the Expo Line and taking the train to and from the show.
The band played over 20 songs; they’re short–most are only about 2 minutes– but, they’re wildly powerful songs all worthy of head-banging. Joyce Manor played songs from all their albums, like their single “Fake ID” from their most recent album, Cody. They even played a new song named “One Million Dollars to Kill Me,” and their punk rendition of “Video Killed The Radio Star,” originally by The Buggles. Of course they ended their set with an encore in which they played “Christmas Card” and “Leather Jacket.” At this point, everyone was screaming along.
Finally, the show was over; I was exuberantly out of breath and dripping in sweat. Johnson’s croony, emotional lyrics struck everyone’s hearts and not to mention, bassist Matt Ebert’s back up vocals are always essential to Joyce Manor’s sound. The entire concert experience reminded me of Joyce Manor’s humble beginnings and how much they’ve grown. Their sound has changed slightly, but they’re still the same hardcore, yet poignant band that emo kids know and love.
See more photos from this concert: click here.