Saturday night saw another packed house at The Observatory North Park in San Diego. With Mrs. Magician, AJJ – formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad - and Joyce Manor on the bill, San Diegans knew they were in for a treat. Which totally explains the line that wrapped around the entire block of folks waiting to get inside.
Mrs. Magician hit the stage first while folks trickled in. Their music leans on the pop side of the spectrum but then there’s all this fuzz mixed in with these rad melodies you guys, it’s damn good. They look so busy shredding on that stage, I don’t know how they find the time to kiss each other.
I figured AJJ would be the mellow set of the night but just after a few short seconds I realized how wrong I was. You’d think fans were watching some huge metal band with the way they were thrashing about. But in all actuality they were just losing their minds to the honest lyrics and folk-punk sounds of AJJ. It’s easy to get, even just after a single AJJ show. Their songs feel so anthemic and regardless of their simple stage set up their performance feels grand without losing the intimacy fans crave at shows.
Joyce Manor began their set with “Heart Tattoo,” and the energy built and then burst as the crowd belted the lyrics right back to the band. They went through many of their fan-favorites including, “Falling In Love Again,” and “Constant Nothing” among many others. While the crowd respectfully kept their crowd surfing to a minimum, it didn’t stop the circle pit that stayed busy throughout the night. The band was all smiles as they jammed out a short but very exciting set. Is it just me or does anyone else feel like they can’t get enough of Joyce Manor live? Their shows never get old regardless how many times I see them live. They’ve mastered the small show feel and can make even the largest of venue or festival stages feel intimate, so The Observatory was a good a stage as any for the show. I don’t think I was the only person in the room who wished the band had played longer. It might have something to do with most of their songs clocking around the 2 minute mark that makes for a shorter set but I just feel like all of their shows are over way too soon. Even so, the band packs so much into their short sets that fans leave tired and happy and that much more stoked for the next time they come to town. Joyce Manor forever!