California-based emo/pop punk band, ‘Joyce Manor’, was first to take the stage (to a roar of screams from their fans) at Baltimore Soundstage on Monday, November 6th. Lead singer and guitarist, Barry Johnson, took control of the stage, and the rest of the band followed. Their song ‘Fake I.D.’ prompted a contagious dance that infected the entire crowd. The band’s choruses along with their classic pop punk and 90’s rock influences kept the crowd jumping along, simultaneously throughout the set. When the band went into their song, ‘Christmas Card’, the faces of some of their dearest fans lit up with a smile. Then the mosh pits started to open up and you could feel the energy in the venue shift a notch up. Towards the end of the set, they played their hit, ‘Constant Headache’, and we’re pretty sure the bartenders even sang along. Almost everyone in the venue screamed every word of the song. Fans began crowd surfing towards the safe arms of the security guards, who were swaying along to the tune. Matt Ebert, the band’s bassist, provided great backing vocals that matched the emotion and tone of the rest of the band. It was an amazing set from a band on the rise.
When Wavves stepped on stage, the whole crowd began to form into one mass, swaying back and forth, waiting for some California surf punk to bless their ears. Wavves started off fast and loud, staying like that until the end of the concert. The crowd itself was one big mosh pit throughout, especially during their fast and heavy song, ‘No Shade’. Between Jäger bombs, frontman Nathan Williams bounced along with the fans while gracing them with his emotional and rebellious voice. The whole band had a great dynamic together as they bounced around, releasing any angst that might have been brought into the venue. They played their song, ‘Nine Is God’, which was featured on the hit game ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ to the delight of the audience.
At first, a concert-long (several hours) mosh pit can seem daunting, and sometimes downright terrifying. However, as Williams reminded the crowd, “if someone falls, you best damn pick them back up”. When someone was knocked to the ground in the pit, five other people would quickly pick the person back up and make sure they were ok. Another staple to a Wavves’ show is the classic art of crowd surfing. The security guards were very busy during the set, making sure all the happy crowd surfers were safely reunited (feet first) with the ground and their friends. The band closed their set with one of our favorite songs, ‘Green Eyes’. The crowd sang along with Williams during the intro, which is just acapella vocals. When the rest of the band kicked in, the crowd shifted into overdrive and went all out. It must have looked too fun to pass up from the stage, because Williams ended up jumping into the crowd and surfed above his fans, jamming out with them.
Both bands came to party and wild-out on a Monday night, and they thoroughly succeeded. It was a great time had by all and the perfect start to the week. We hope to see them back in our area before long.