REVIEW: Mt. Joy at Turner Hall Ballroom

Photo by Dan Garcia

It’s 40℉ in Milwaukee and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than surrounded by strangers in Turner Hall. There couldn’t have been a more perfect addition to the evening than Mt. Joy. Their stage presence mirrored that of a smaller, far more intimate venue; it felt undeniably “right”.

It’s hard not to feel like you’re part of a greater collective when swaying to the surprisingly comforting, classic Americana folk-rock songs. Their warm, inviting sound is reminiscent of glimpsing through previous memories with a classic Viewmaster – instantly recognizable and relatable.

With roots from across the country, Mt. Joy brings a unique sound to the folk-rock genre. Matt Quinn and Sam Cooper met during high school in Philadelphia and brought their down-to-earth roots to Los Angel, creating an unparalleled vibe.

Since last visiting Milwaukee and performing at the Colectivo Back Room in August of 2017, they expressed their thanks for the support and energy that the Friday night crowd brought to the atmosphere. As a token of gratitude, they played the entirety of their unreleased track, “Rearrange Us”, to the crowd. The song stayed on-brand with their distinct mix of folk-rock with a smooth interlude. The single is due to be released on October 16.

Photo by Dan Garcia

“Kids get high, in that basement sometimes,” opening lyrics of their single, Sheep, was the best possible way to open the show. They moved through songs from all of their albums, including their popular single, Astrovan.

Before closing with Silver Lining, Quinn had the entire crowd singing with a Julia / Ain’t No Sunshine / Clint Eastwood mashup.

The heart of the show could be encompassed by the cozy, yellow hue of the cafe lights that dangled across the ceiling above the audience and onto the stage amongst their instruments, encouraging the free-flow of energy through the audience. Not only did this enhance the intimacy of the show, but created a dynamic that was perfectly reflective of their overall vibe.

While being a relatively young band, only existing since 2016, the show left me wanting more and looking forward to their future albums and seeing how they grow and expand.

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