Concert Review: Briston Maroney & Mt. Joy

Mt. Joy performing at Youtube Space in 2018

by Groove Girl // PB & Jams

As I stepped out of my friend’s Chevrolet, I thought about how strange it felt to be back on a random field in the middle of nowhere surrounded by hundreds of people (outdoor shows sound weird out of context.) I haven’t seen a real live show in over a year. Trips in my friend’s car usually meant a quick stop to a Cookout or Walmart for groceries (yes, this has been my life amidst the chaos.) 

Social events have been small, and full of familiar faces. Now, here for a concert, surrounded by strangers, the anticipation of experiencing a lively and contagiously energetic live band grows. It’s hard, as most of you know, to truly describe the feelings associated with a concert. I wish I could give that word a more spectacular name to match what it means. It’s not just a singular event, people standing around on a stage wearing makeup, staring at their shoes while singing about lost love. It’s a treasured experience, an emotional release, and a work of art. When the music starts, your lens of life changes slightly from this reality into a new world, one where you feel like you’re in a rave scene of some dramatic film. You feel different when you leave. That could be me trying too hard to sound poetic, but I certainly have missed those emotions.

I went to see Mt. Joy and Briston Maroney play at the Columbia Speedway on Saturday night. When I first got to the “concert” with my three friends, fully vaccinated, the first thing I really noticed was the people. People inspire me to create, to write, and to just feel motivated, and it felt so good just to be surrounded by fellow creative human minds and music lovers.

Briston Maroney promotional photo for 2021 single “It’s Still Cool if you Don’t”

We went to our own little plot of grass near the stage. For social distancing, each group of four was given a little spot of their own to lay a blanket on or bring chairs to. It gave the event a very farm-like or festival feel. When it was time for the opening act, Briston Maroney, we were all infinitely ready. Briston strummed his guitar, and it was like a wave of calm washed over me

Briston and his band were a lively group and they sounded exactly like his recordings. The group had amazing energy, taking turns dancing and looking like they had the music sending jolts of electricity running through their veins. Their final song of the night was “Freaking Out on the Interstate” and everyone went wild. All I can think when he walks off stage is: I love this little Texas boy. 

Mt. Joy performed a bit after Maroney. The piano player was the highlight of the night, a talented keys goddess from Portland Oregon. They are a chill folk group and played hits like “Silver Lining” and “Astrovan.” It was a blast just jumping around with my friends at a concert again. The pandemic didn’t give me much, but it sure as hell did give me a better appreciation for the “little things” in life, like a night of great music, and the amazing people you meet in life.


Listen to some of Briston Maroney’s music here and Mt. Joy’s music here. Keep an eye out for the fall 2021 show schedule to see when PB & Jams will be back on. In the meantime, hit Groove Girl & T-Roy up with a follow on their instagram here!