Record release shows, to me, always seems to rock a little harder. There is an energy in the air as fans come together to celebrate new music that they will [hopefully] love for years to come. The Joyce Manor Never Hungover Again show at the El Rey in Los Angeles was no exception.
To be honest, I hadn’t listened to Joyce Manor that much until recently. As they released new songs as a teaser for this album, I realized that I had been missing out. I revisited their older records only to discover that I recognized many of the songs and they were still awesome. I was excited to check them out live for the first time and pick up a vinyl copy of the new album. I would also like to give props to their marketing team – they have numerous ads on bus benches around Los Angeles and hid free CDs at each of them on the day of the release. Sadly, I got to the bench closest to my home too late in the day and missed out. But I still think it’s a cool idea.
When we arrived at the show, Winter Break was halfway through their opening set. The El Rey was full and people were singing and dancing along with the band. It was definitely a sign of great things to come later in the evening.
Next up was Tony Molina (and the Tony Molina band), which, to me, had a different sort of vibe. The crowd seemed to enjoy this band, who came down from Northern California to play the show, but I wasn’t familiar with their music. The band seemed to be really into jamming with each other, which included a few extended solos.
It was finally time for the main event! The El Rey was packed and the excitement in the sold-out crowd was building. It wasn’t your typical punk show crowd – it is obvious that Joyce Manor’s appeal stretches across genres. The band ripped through their set (not even an hour long – but with albums that average 20 minutes, I’m not surprised) and the crowd went wild. The band obviously enjoyed playing an energetic show that celebrated their latest release. Fans were treated to live versions of “Victoria,” “Schley,” and “Heart Tattoo” from the new album, which was officially released a few days before the show on Epitaph Records. In addition to the new songs, the band played fan favorites “Famous Friend,” “Leather Jacket,” “Beach Community,” and “Constant Headache.” I highly encourage you to check out Joyce Manor as they tour to support this album. In the meantime, check out the photo gallery from the show below!