Joywave @ Lincoln Hall Review

Saloni Jaisingh | November 21, 2017

“Thanks, Thanks for Coming”, is both the name of Joywave’s current tour, and the ninth track off of their sophomore album, Content. In a sold-out room at the iconic Lincoln Hall of Chicago, Joywave brought their music, new and old, to life in front of an eager crowd.

Four standard PC Screens lit up accompanying Joywave on stage as their visuals. Colorful images, designs, and videos flashed across these screens, expanding on their live show experience. Then entered Daniel Armbruster (vocals), Joseph Morinelli (guitar), Sean Donnelly (bass), Benjamin Bailey (keyboards), and Paul Brenner (drums).

After thoroughly enjoying Joywave’s set at 101.1WKQX’s PIQNIQ in 2015 and seeing them open for Young the Giant and Cold War Kids this September, I was looking forward to experiencing their own headlining show and seeing how it would compare to those powerful sets.

Starting off their set with Content’s self titled song, a more ambient track that gradually becomes more intense, Joywave captured everyone’s attention immediately. Making sure to include songs from both of their albums and EPs, their nineteen song set list was sure to please any fan hoping for an eclectic setlist. Tracks such as “Destruction” and “It’s a Trip” were sure crowd pleasers, while songs such as “Going to a Place” and “Confidence” slowed down the vibes of the room. I was very excited to hear “Nice House” live, which enchanted the audience. This acoustic-based song has always been my favorite off of their debut album, How Do You Feel Now?, and I hadn’t heard it live to date. “Tongues”, a bop familiar to everyone in the concert hall, was the second to last song of the show that peaked the energy for the final time of the night.

Setlist aside, Joywave is one of those live acts that won’t have you feeling left out if you are unfamiliar with their music - you can still rock out to their material even if you don’t know the lyrics. That’s the beauty of Joywave’s music through. Strong, articulate lyrics hand in hand with unique and infectious electronic beats.

Lincoln Hall was the perfect venue for Joywave to play, the quality of production in this intimate of a setting was a great feat. With vibrant colors lighting up the packed concert hall and Armbruster’s engaging stage presence, everyone was captivated. While fans were packed in, there was still room for them to move which is good because of Joywave’s contagious rhythms. Whether fans were nodding their head or tapping their feet, Joywave had people moving.

Armbruster’s dry humor charmed the crowd and he convinced us of his love for playing shows in Chicago. He had everyone jumping up and down along with him to each track. I always thought Joywave had amazing energy, but they took it to a whole new level on this headlining tour. They demanded the audience’s attention with their captivating stage presence and interacted with the audience a multitude of times.


Joywave, naturally, finished off their set with “Thanks. Thanks for Coming”. This polite closing on behalf of the band’s part wrapped up their set and ended their show. The second leg of this tour has just been announced, and I strongly recommend checking out Joywave in a city near you. Get tickets here.

  Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews via Billboard

Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews via Billboard