Concertgoers clamored to get closer to the stage as Joyce Manor filled the room with punk-rock indie music at Black Cat on Sept. 23.
The band began without introduction— they didn’t need one. Joyce Manor was the brainchild of a bottle of cheap booze in the parking lot of Disneyland, according to the band’s website. The band members named themselves after an apartment complex near lead singer Barry Johnson’s home, and over the next few years they sent a few demos out into the world.
In 2011, they finally released a self-titled debut and followed up with their next album, “Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired.” Last year, the band produced its third album, “Never Hungover Again,” which topped Billboard’s “Top Heatseekers” chart in 2014 and has also placed under “Top Independent Albums,” “Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums,” “Top Rock Albums” and ranked 106 on The Billboard top 200.
Tracks, a New Hampshire band led by Jason Anderson, opened the show, followed by Cheap Girls. In its inaugural tour and first visit to D.C. this year, Tracks performed its first single, “Moonlight,” as well as other songs that have yet to be released. Catchy and warm, the audience soon caught on to the words and began to sing along.
Cheap Girls, a rock band fronted by two brothers, took the stage next. The Michigan-based group played hard from its four released albums, “Find Me A Drink Home,” “My Roaring 20’s,” “Giant Orange” and “My Roaring 20’s Acoustic.”
Finally, Black Cat welcomed to the stage the loud, edgy and beloved Joyce Manor. They played songs from their most recent album, “Never Hungover Again,” which was released just last year. Popular songs from the album, like the angsty 65-second anthem “Catalina Fight Song” and “Heart Tattoo” sent the audience into a frenzied mosh pit. The band also performed a few old fan favorites, like “Leather Jacket” and “Constant Headache.”
The music Joyce Manor produces is loud, heart-on-the-sleeve emo punk that fills the room in a way few other similar bands can do. While their lyrics are relatable—almost to the point of clichè—it’s the band’s delivery of those lyrics that keeps fans riled. Lead singer Barry Johnson expressed some concern for his voice over playing such a long set, considering the vocals are half-sung and half-bellowed, but he pulled through marvelously. Overall, Joyce Manor brought chaos to the stage, as promised.