Concert Review: Mt. Joy at Music Farm
By Erin Slack
Mt. Joy is classified as an indie rock band, but they also combine elements of folk into their songs. They are based in Los Angeles and consist of Matt Quinn (vocals, guitar), Sam Cooper (guitar), Sotiris Eliopoulos (drums), Jackie Miclau (keyboards), and Michael Byrnes (bass). Mt. Joy released their first single, “Astrovan”, in 2016, followed up with singles “Sheep,” “Cardinal,” and “Silver Lining” in 2017. In 2018 they released their self-titled album consisting of thirteen songs, including the polished-up versions of singles released previously. The band has performed at many music festivals, including Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, as well as opening for Whitney, The Revivalists, and The Head and the Heart (read about TH&TH concert here).
On October 26th, 2019, Mt. Joy played a sold-out show at the Charleston Music Farm. I had bought tickets and had been planning to go to this concert since March, so I was very excited for this night to come around. The venue was very intimate, with standing room only (or as my friend, Jack, who attended the concert with me said “nonstop standing ovation”). We arrived about thirty minutes before the doors opened and were able to get a spot very close to the front, along with the merchandise stand without any line at all.
Going into this concert, I was slightly worried about how it was going to go. Mt. Joy is a great band, but most of their songs are on the slower, more mellow side. Usually, when people go to concerts, they want to get hyped up and I didn’t know if Mt. Joy could achieve that level of energy. Let me tell you, they definitely did. They performed amazingly live, even the slower songs gave the audience enough energy to dance around and have a good time. They started the show off with “Sheep,” “Bigfoot,” and “Astrovan,” a few of my favorite songs. The audience also got a preview of a couple of unreleased songs that will drop soon, and they were definitely something to look forward to. Matt Quinn pulled out his ukulele for “Dirty Love,” which was incredible to see live. I had their new single, “Rearrange Us” (released earlier in October) on repeat since its release in preparation of them performing it at the concert, and seeing it live in concert lived up to the hype. Mt. Joy definitely did not fail to amaze me throughout the entire performance.
For a couple of songs, Matt Quinn gave a little background on what they are about. The majority of their songs are about getting high. “This next song is about getting high and wondering when your girlfriend is going to dump you,” came before the band played their song “Julia,” and they mixed in some parts of “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers into the middle of “Julia” before ending their set with “Silver Lining.” They, of course, performed a couple of encore songs, the first one not being familiar to me and I assume it is from their upcoming album. The last song was given some background; “This one is about trusting your friends and getting high with your friends, and if you vote the right people in the office we might get it legalized and not have these weak ass CBD shops.” “Cardinal” was the final song and came after the political message by the band’s frontman.
All things considered, this concert was a great time. The atmosphere of the venue, the songs played, and the band’s demeanor throughout the whole set just vibed together to make for a fun concert experience. If you have an opportunity to go see Mt. Joy in concert, I would highly recommend. They have only put out one full-length album and are on the rise in the indie music world.