Joyce Manor hurries through rowdy set at Grog Shop



Joyce Manor’s brand of punk is fast and sloppy. In their more vicious songs, everything feels like it’s in a hurry to be over.

At the California band’s show at the Grog Shop on Sept. 18, we were out by midnight. And this was despite having two openers in addition to their set, when the first band started a bit later than 9 p.m.

Singer Barry Johnson whipped through hits like “Jacket” and “Constant Headache.” Members of the audience took no time in getting rowdy, and within the first three songs, a crowdsurfer already hung above the audience by a steel ceiling beam, carrying himself across a wave of upraised hands. However, the show never got too rowdy, and though crowdsurfers kicked and tried to push their way to the stage, the audience was careful to keep them away from the performing band.

Joyce Manor hit their set hard; so hard, that an amp broke just a few songs in. They encouraged the crowd to get a little crazy, too (but in a respectful way). Johnson at one point said to the audience, “Let’s get a circle pit going!”

In the space of the Grog Shop, that wasn’t exactly doable. Still, a few energetic crowd members jostled around, shoving each other into the rest of the group.

This wasn’t Joyce Manor’s first time in Cleveland, but their memories were fond of west-side venue Now That’s Class. No offense to Grog Shop, though. Johnson described when Joyce Manor was almost late to their last Grog show (where they played with ska-punk Bomb the Music Industry!), but were still welcomed back by the venue for their set this time around.

Openers, Tracks sounded too much like they were idolizing their favorite bands with their traditional rock and roll sound, while Cheap Girls were a little bit muffled, and a maybe a bit too slow for the pace of the night.

But despite the slow musical start, there was nothing that couldn’t get picked up by Joyce Manor’s snappy performance rhythm. The band performed in a hurry, then did a two-song encore, and the audience left the venue happy, energized and satisfied.