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Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Joywave lead singer Daniel Armbruster had a quirky vibrancy that was clear from the start.

Joywave lead singer Daniel Armbruster had a quirky vibrancy that was clear from the start.

Joywave, Sir Sly give euphoric indie rock performances

The Majestic Theatre was inflated with badass, indie rock fans of all capacities this past Thursday to relish in the positive energy that is Joywave and Sir Sly.

Going into the concert, I had high expectations for Joywave and a sense of mildly optimistic apathy for Sir Sly’s set. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised.

The two-headliner show began with Joywave, and Daniel Armbruster’s quirky vibrancy was clear from the start. Everything from his facial expressions, hand gestures and vocal differentiation were, for lack of a better word, weird. Super weird, and super rad.

“It’s A Trip!” got everyone — die-hard fans and those who came for an alternative night out — to meet on the same wavelength and vibe together for the remainder of the set.

Armbruster’s easygoing nature and the cohesiveness of the entire band’s stage presence instilled a sense of fluidity and coziness in the venue, resulting in the masses almost moving as one during the iconic pop-ish songs such as “Doubt,” “Blastoffff” and “Shutdown.”

Despite the mellow ambience, Armbruster interrupted their set to touch on a more consequential topic: voting in the upcoming midterms. Quoting one of his bandmates, he said something along the lines of, “I don’t give a f*** who you vote for, as long as you vote.”

Yet, the highlight of Joywave’s performance was definitely the transition between “Tongues” and “Destruction,” complete with fake technical difficulties to introduce an abrupt switch between the dance anthem and assertive, indie version of a head banger.

Overall, their set exceeded my already-high expectations, as their cool, calm and collected functionality relaxed the crowd to a point of being fully present in their progressive, groovy tunes.

More surprising was how rousing and emotional Sir Sly’s set was, as I was not a huge fan of their music beforehand.

Starting their run with the popular “High,” the handoff between headliners seemed a bit choppy, and I intended on leaving the show early.

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Damn, was I wrong.

The trio of vocalist Landon Jacobs and instrumentalists Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen worked together phenomenally, and their stage presence was electric. Each band member worked independently to produce their distinct sound, but the love and trust between the three was evident to all — especially when Jacobs diverged from their upbeat set to address something that was clearly eating away at his liveliness.

Jacobs told the woeful story of getting divorced and losing his mom to brain cancer within the same year, discussing how it not only impacted his relationship with music, but with himself. He talked about how his fellow bandmates’ support was unwavering, which ultimately saved his life, as he was suicidal at the time. Jacobs then stated how important mental health is and told his fans that if there was anything they needed from him in terms of support, he would be there.

This chilling digression didn’t kill the mood, but rather heightened the sense of togetherness and appreciation between attendees and the band. To top it all off, Jacobs made a seamless transition by acknowledging the fact that matters had been handled, and it was now time to “f***ing party.”

Jacobs then gave an eerily beautiful rendition of “Altar,” which had the crowd simultaneously filled with grief, euphoria and understanding.

The art behind his performance only got better as they performed “Astronaut” and other hypnotic tunes, from deep-throating the microphone to prancing and stamping across the stage — even climbing the outer rails of the Majestic’s balcony.

Ending the show with their hit “&Run,” Sir Sly dominated the stage and left the crowd exhausted, fulfilled and hungry for more.

At the end of the night, I had gained a new respect for Sir Sly’s down-to-earth message, Joywave’s eccentric cohesiveness and indie rock in its entirety (which, trust me, is saying something).

Sam Jones is an almanac editor for the Daily Cardinal. To read more of her work, click here

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