Joywave, Atlas Genius & The Kooks performed at SummerStage!

Hey guys! Did my fellow Americans have a great fourth of July weekend? I hope so! Recently I attended a SummerStage concert in Central Park for The Kooks and Atlas Genius. I’m not sure if I missed a memo or something but Joywave was added to the roster and it was a really nice surprise. I bought these tickets a while back in the winter and there was no mention of Joywave but I’m a happy camper that they joined in! This week I’ll focus on the opening acts and next week I’ll devote my music spotlight entirely to the headliners, The Kooks.

Joywave is an indie band from Rochester, New York fronted by Daniel Armbruster. He’s really entertaining live and full of energy and outbursts. You can tell that he absolutely loves performing and he was even able to penetrate, the at times stoic, New York audiences and get them to move a little. I’m not sure if you guys know this but NYC can be a pretty tough crowd. Of course, like anywhere else, you’ll see people moving and singing along to their favorite songs however the enthusiasm can sometimes be a bit more subdued in a New York audience. Somewhere else you might see everyone dancing their heart outs like no one is watching but here you might get a handful of those while the majority will simply bop their head along and maybe jump a bit if they’ve past their third drink.

At some point during their set, the lead singer of Joywave gave a few impassioned pleas to the audience to jump and dance and get a little crazy. He said something along the lines of “I know you New Yorkers don’t really like to participate but today we’ll change that! We can change New York! We can change it now!” Now, I’m not saying that he was able to get the whole crowd moving but he did get more people to participate than before and I would say that was a win for him and Joywave as a whole. It was actually kind of funny and I think his hyper tendencies rubbed off on me a little in that moment.

The energy from the performance Joywave gave kind of left me a bit disappointed by Atlas Genius. That’s not to say that I didn’t like their set because I did. I was able to hear every Atlas Genius song from their debut album, When it Was Now, that I wanted to and was also privy to several of their newer songs. If you’d like a bit of background Atlas Genius hail from Adeliade, Australia and feature brothers Keith and Michael Jeffrey as well as a couple rotating/past members (including another brother). They sounded great live but I felt my attention drifting off at times. There were several moments where I found myself talking a bit more than I normally would during a set to my friend. I also noticed that I was doing a lot of people watching which is something I usually do but not when a band is rocking out in front of me. Maybe that’s it though, they weren’t exactly “rocking out” they were more or less just playing.

After witnessing all the bubbling energy from Joywave and then later on being captivated by The Kooks (more on that later) Atlas Genius just seemed to fall a bit flat. I still really dig their music though and it’s not going to make me rethink my playlists but I maybe will push them a bit further down on my list of acts I’d pay to see again. There is a bit more left to talk about in regards to Atlas Genius but since it has to do with The Kooks I’ll leave that until next week. In the meantime check out some of my picks from Joywave and Atlas Genius below!

What do you think of Joywave and Atlas Genius? Share your thoughts and in the upcoming weeks expect highlights from the headliners, The Kooks, along with other weekly Music Monday playlists!

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