The Story So Far, Joyce Manor, Mom Jeans & Microwave played Terminal 5 (review)
The Story So Far recently began a spring tour with the stacked support lineup of Joyce Manor, Mom Jeans, and Microwave, and that tour rolled through NYC for a stop at Terminal 5 last night (4/22). Microwave kicked things off with a short-but-sweet opening set, and the 3,000-cap venue was already packed by the time they got on. They mixed things up between their more melodic earlier material and 2019's darker, heavier Death Is A Warm Blanket, and they also broke out their anthemic new single "Circling The Drain," which only came out a couple of weeks ago and already felt like a highlight of their set. Hopefully we'll hear more new music from them soon.
Mom Jeans followed with a set that primarily pulled from their new album Sweet Tooth, which finds the indie-punk band channelling the hooky, radio-friendly sounds of late '90s and early 2000s pop punk and alt-rock. Still, they've maintained their scrappy side, and that came across at Terminal 5, where the band were bouncing around the big stage and still looking and sounding as charmingly shambolic as they did in smaller venues earlier on. They had the crowd bouncing around and getting super into it too, and it was also one of the members' birthdays and they celebrated by leading the crowd in a "happy birthday" singalong.
Direct support came from Joyce Manor, who -- fresh off recently celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut album with a Central Park show -- are big enough to headline T5 themselves, and they did indeed draw a huge chunk of the crowd who knew every word. Like at the Central Park show and other recent gigs, they had their expanded five-piece lineup with Neil Berthier (PHONY, Donovan Wolfington) on acoustic guitar and backing vocals, which really beefs up their sound in a live setting, and this was an especially cool gig because the band are kind of in an in-between phase right now. They're done celebrating the anniversary of their debut, and they're gearing up for their anticipated new album 40 oz. to Fresno (due 6/10 via Epitaph), so it was a great chance to see them do a career-spanning set and preview some of the new material in the process. They started their set turned up to 11 with "Catalina Fight Song" and stayed on that high the entire time, ripping through tons of fan faves and sounding as effortlessly tight as they ever have. The recent 10th anniversary tour felt almost like the end of an era, and Joyce Manor have said that they debated taking a short hiatus, but they're now fully in the midst of writing a new chapter and last night's show was a reminder that these are lifers who are in it for the long haul, just as energetic today as they were a decade ago. Their new single "Gotta Let It Go" sounded great next to the classics, and they debuted another song from the new record that was just as effective. (They also played "NBTSA," which has been floating around in their repertoire for a while but also appears on the upcoming album.) And no matter how far this band goes, they always get the crowd going for "Five Beer Plan," a cut from their 2010 self-released-on-CDr Constant Headache EP that still rivals all of their biggest singles.
As much as Joyce Manor did have the packed crowd in a frenzy, it was clear right away that The Story So Far were the headliners. They opened with "Clairvoyant," an acoustic song from a 2013 split with Stick To Your Guns, and that soft, tender song was enough to turn the entire place into a sea of moving bodies. It was a suspenseful opening, one where you could feel the entire crowd waiting for the band to erupt into their explosive pop punk, and once "Clairvoyant" died down, that's exactly what they did by jumping right into "Keep This Up" from 2018's Proper Dose and turning the whole room into a madhouse. From there, TSSF just kept playing one fan fave after another and it was hard to spot a single person that wasn't yelling every single word back in their faces. Having not released new music in four years (as multiple members focused on side projects), they mixed things up pretty well between their four full-lengths, and every song felt like a hit, whether it was a single or a deep cut. They also broke out a very fun cover of Millencolin's 2000 skate punk classic "No Cigar," and as much as spring-loaded pop punk is this band's specialty, the less pop punk moments were just as effective, like the aforementioned "Clairvoyant" and "Upside Down," a dream pop-leaning song from Proper Dose that was one of the night's biggest highlights.
The tour continues in Boston tonight (4/23) and runs through mid-May, with upcoming stops in Philly, Richmond, Atlanta, Nashville, LA, San Francisco, and more. All dates here. Setlists and fan-shot videos below. Joyce Manor's upcoming album is up for pre-order on opaque pink vinyl.
The Story So Far Setlist (via)
Keep This Up
Out of It
Take Me as You Please
No Cigar (Millencolin cover)
Things I Can't Change
Joyce Manor Setlist
Catalina Fight Song
Falling in Love Again
Gotta Let It Go
Last You Heard of Me
Five Beer Plan