featuring The Aces
November 13, 2017 @ Brighton Music Hall
By: Jason Crouse
The first thing to come to mind when I hear “Joywave” is the memorable face of Daniel Armbruster, referred to by me only as “Mustache Man” for as long as I can remember (until I finally looked up his real name five minutes ago). I knew very little about Joywave as a whole going into this show, having only heard their song ‘Dangerous’ when it made the rounds on Top 40 radio a few summers ago, so I didn’t know what to expect. Since the MBTA proved to still be the slowest form of transportation in Boston, I missed out on seeing first opener, The Demos. Regardless, Joywave and their second opener, The Aces, were still a blast.
Like any somewhat decent music writer, I took very meaningful and detailed notes during the show. The most notable from The Aces’ set said that they seemed like “the kind of girls who will go to brunch with their grandmothers and then get revenge on a shitty ex afterwards.” I think what I was trying to verbalize in that moment is that The Aces were a badass four-piece girl band with a kind exterior. Much of their music was poppy and fun, but then they could also shred like crazy and pulled out a pretty good cover of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ in the middle of their set. I danced, sang, and was pleasantly surprised by their talent and overall back-and-forth with the crowd. There were no doubts in my mind after their set that girl bands are the future. I would absolutely see them again, hopefully in a venue with better lighting that would allow for better quality photos.
I have certainly never been to a show where the between-set music was comprised solely of slowed down Black Eyed Peas and ’90s rock songs with the instruments removed, and I don’t think I have ever seen a band use old CRT computer monitors displaying Windows 98 graphics as a backdrop for their performance. I guess that shocking novelty is the point of Joywave. If I had to summarize my gatherings on this band in one sentence, I would say that Joywave thrives on being weird and different, but in a cool way. Some of their music seemed to fit into the box of indie pop, but other songs seemed to span a variety of genres with their glitchy electronic noise and guitar and synth riffs comprising a sound all their own. I couldn’t stop thinking throughout the set that Mustache Man exuded the weirdest vibe, but damn, the boy has pipes. His range and vocal ability stood out to me and made the show a better experience overall. I wasn’t the only one having a great time though, because the entire crowd was going wild for an hour straight. Now that’s what I call stamina.