Tralf-goers were treated to an uplifting dose of indie-folk on Tuesday.
In its debut Buffalo show, Spotify-darlings Mt. Joy pleased a mostly mellow, but always-attentive crowd of music lovers.
Hailing from Los Angeles via Philadelphia, the five-piece up-and-comers’ spirited and soulful lyrics, which hit varying notes from matter-of-fact poignancy to carefree charisma, paint thoughtful, sepia-toned pictures of modern-day Americana.
Of course, it was the duo of tracks with a dozen-million-plus Spotify streams which energized. A political, mournful “Sheep”—inspired by the controversial 2015 death of Freddie Gray while in police custody—drew considerable applause mid-set. In contrast, the light-spirited, genuinely optimistic “Silver Lining” served as a well-received pre-encore closer.
“My only knowledge of Buffalo is that some people jump through plastic tables,” said lead man and Western New York-newcomer Matt Quinn a few tunes in. “I love that about Buffalo. We’ll try to bring that energy.”
While Mt. Joy’s demeanor was more reserved than that of Bills Mafia on a Sunday late-morning, the band's energy was nonetheless overwhelmingly, infectiously positive. From bassist Michael Byrnes to keyboardist Jackie Miclau, unwavering wide grins abounded—a likely sign of genuine appreciation for the band's surely surreal, still-new reality of performing live music for a living.
[Read: Mt. Joy in "3 can't-miss shows"]
It’s shows like a Tuesday night date at the humble Tralf in Buffalo—post big-stage breakthrough performances at Bonnaroo, and as openers for revered indie-rockers The Shins—that define bands like Mt. Joy, who’ve tasted moderate success but still need a bigger bite of the market to truly make it.
A flawless performance, plus Quinn’s smooth, melodious vocals—an elusive, oft-missing piece of countless underachieving bands—bode well for Mt. Joy’s prospects. The ticket price of $15 to attend an intimate, first-ever Buffalo performance by this still-underrated group will likely prove to be a memorable steal in the near-future.
Mt. Joy, Sept. 11 at the Tralf Music Hall.
You’ll like Mt. Joy if you enjoy: The Lumineers, Houndmouth, Dawes
(New unknown song)
"I’m Your Wreck"