Review: Joyce Manor, Citizen, Prince Daddy, and PHONY @ Brooklyn Steel
Joyce Manor have been very kind to NYC this past year. They chose Central Park as one of the very few locations that they played their self-titled debut LP in full for its 10th anniversary last September, then opened for The Story So Far at Terminal 5 in April, and then they returned for a headlining show at Brooklyn Steel on Friday (8/12) as part of their tour supporting this year's 40 oz. to Fresno. And every time they come, the venues are full of diehard fans and the crowds go off. They're a band who always leaves you wanting more, and we just can't seem to get enough of them.
Their last time in NYC, they'd only just released Fresno's lead single "Gotta Let It Go," but this time they played five of the album's nine songs, and the new stuff fit right in with the longtime fan faves and kept the energy as high as the rest of the setlist. With songs as short as theirs, they squeezed 25 songs into a set that lasted less than an hour, including a five-song encore (the longest song they played was probably their Murder City Devils cover), and they touched on tracks from all over their decade-plus career, from the very early days of "Chumped" and "House Warning Party" to more recent stuff like "Big Lie" and "Stairs" (the latter of which hadn't been played yet on this tour), and of course tons of the self-titled and Never Hungover Again. (The only era they didn't touch on was Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired.) As always, Joyce Manor sped through every song with both a try-hard urgency and a carefree attitude, like they're just living in the moment and never too rehearsed but also impossibly tight. Like their records, their live show hits a sweet spot that you kinda can't get from any other band, and that's why every time you see them feels just as exciting as the last.
Not only were Joyce Manor great at Brooklyn Steel on Friday, the other three bands that played were too. First up was PHONY, the current project of Neil Berthier, who used to be in Donovan Wolfington and who's also currently a live member of Joyce Manor. I sadly got there a little late and didn't catch the full set, but from what I did see, PHONY sounded awesome. Up next were Prince Daddy & the Hyena, who released one of the year's best albums so far and who were last seen in NYC rocking a packed house for their headlining set at Music Hall of Williamsburg in May. And even this time playing as the second band on a four-band bill, a large chunk of the crowd came ready to bounce around and yell every word for the entire set. Vocalist Kory Gregory talked multiple times about listening to Joyce Manor in high school and how it was a dream come true to be touring with them, and they were a great fit for the bill -- clearly influenced by Joyce Manor but with a vibe of their own. If you hadn't heard them before, I'd imagine anybody who caught them on Friday left that venue as a Prince Daddy fan; they really know how to put on a great show and already seem ready to return to that venue as headliners.
Direct support came from Citizen, who also put on a headline-worthy set. Citizen were last in NYC playing that same venue when they opened for Turnstile in May, and they treated both shows like they were headlining Madison Square Garden. This time though, there seemed to be a lot more Citizen fans in the house than there were at the Turnstile show, and that put this set way over the top. They came out to the dance-punk-infused "I Want To Kill You" off last year's great Life In Your Glass World, and right off the bat they were giving 11-out-of-10 energy. Next up was their emo revival-era classic "The Summer," so they were really kicking things off with a bang, and it really never let up from there. They went super hard, they had the crowd eating up every second, and they put together a killer setlist of great newer songs and enduring older faves that meshed together so well despite Citizen's ever-shapeshifting sound. This band is truly better than ever.
Pick up 40 oz. to Fresno on opaque pink vinyl and other Joyce Manor records in our store. We've also got multiple Citizen records in stock, including a new exclusive splatter variant of Youth, as well as the new Prince Daddy album on exclusive splatter vinyl.
Check out some fan-shot videos and the setlist from the show below...
Joyce Manor @ Brooklyn Steel - 8/12/22 Setlist
Gotta Let It Go
Ashtray Petting Zoo
Midnight Service at the Mutter Museum (The Murder City Devils cover)
Did You Ever Know?
Falling in Love Again
Last You Heard of Me
Catalina Fight Song
House Warning Party
Five Beer Plan