Joywave thrills Nashville’s Mercy Lounge

It seems to be a recurring theme that whenever I attend a concert these days in Nashville, the weather seems to be inclement. The last couple of shows I have attended have all come with either a snowstorm or some type of heavy rain. This Wednesday was no exception, as a tornado warning was called right before I headed downtown to see one of my favorite New York bands, Joywave. Regardless of the forecast, I had a feeling that the evening was going to be full of exciting surprises.

Fortunately for me (and everyone else in attendance), a storm was not going to be one of them. 

Up first on the bill was Joe P from New Jersey — or, at least that’s how he introduced himself. Prior to the show, I didn’t get the chance to look up any of his music, but he absolutely rocked. In some ways, I felt like he was an up-to-date version of Bruce Springsteen, yet with a modern spin. His songs were a mix of pop and rock that most of the audience seemed to relate to. He often also took a couple of moments to teach the crowd how to sing sections of his songs, which I found to be fun and entertaining. The highlight of his set came in the form of the song “Leaves”, which absolutely lit the crowd up from front to back. It wasn’t heavy enough to start a mosh pit, but I am quite certain nobody at Mercy Lounge stood still for that one. I immediately added that song to my current favorite Spotify playlist and it’s been on heavy rotation ever since. If you are planning on attending any one of the Joywave’s current Cleanse Tour shows, make sure you get there early, because Joe P is an opener you do not want to miss. 

“Coming to you all the way from Rochester, New York!” Yelled Joywave lead singer Daniel Armbruster, after the band finished its opening song. The crowd went absolutely crazy and if I am being honest, I wasn’t quite prepared for how good this band actually is. Admittedly, I knew a few Joywave songs prior to the show, but I didn’t realize how many songs they are actually known for. I think it was one of those instances where you hear a song all the time, but don’t take the time to check who the band is and then, one day, you are watching them perform it live and you feel stupid. They were so much fun and their banter with the crowd was probably some of the best I have ever experienced from a band. Daniel made a few jokes about his greatest fear in the world being “tornados” and if the weather got crazy, the tour manager would tackle him off the stage, where they would continue the show in the basement. Luckily, the show continued without any interruptions from mother nature. The set lasted about an hour and a half, finishing with a three-song encore, which the crowd continuously chanted for over and over. They ended things with their smash hits “Dangerous” and “Destruction” — a fitting end, doing to the audience what a tornado could not.

Photography by Derek Jones

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