The band Mt. Joy performed to a loyal crowd at the Sandy Amphitheater on August 16. Fans came early to get their seats and merchandise in support of the five-piece band. Tulsa-based band Wilderado opened the show.
“We’re so happy to be back in Utah, one of the most beautiful places on the planet,” singer Matt Quinn said as the set began. “Now let’s have fun!”
It was a good night for a show at the amphitheater with the weather cooperating and the audience excited. Mt. Joy is promoting their third album, “Orange Blood.”
Wilderado was a good opening game for Mt. Joy. They tour together all summer. They quickly got into an easy beat and got people on their feet with songs from their latest album, the self-titled “Wilderado.”
The group is based in Tulsa, but two of the members are from Austin. One of them is Jack Malonis, a multi-instrumentalist who played keyboards and filled in the gaps in the percussion for the show.
“We’ve known them (Mt. Joy) for years and we get along really well. It’s the first time we’ve toured with them, but we’re having a great time. We’re doing about 20 shows with them this summer,” Malonis said.
Wilderado ended the set with their sweet song “Rubble to Rubble,” which shows off their southern roots.
It is a simple melody played and sung by vocalist Max Rainer. Malonis and the rest of the band – Tyler Wimpee, Justin Kila and David Arthur Stimson – put down their instruments and took the mics to sing along with Rainer. The harmonies were particularly effective on the lyrics of the chorus, “I’m on my way”.
After a short break to reset the stage, indie band Mt. Joy came to thunderous applause. The audience, mostly 20s and 30s, was on their feet with the first song and stayed on their feet to dance and sing for the rest of the show.
Their song “Strangers” opened with a rapid piano solo from keyboardist Jackie Miclau. The song is taken from their second album, “Rearrange Us,” and they performed it when they were on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2020.
Another fan favorite was “I’m Your Wreck”, which is from their 2018 self-titled debut album.
The numbers blended seamlessly from number to number, with Quinn checking in with the audience every few songs. Flashing lights and a set with large silver spheres kept the energy going.
The band’s history is found in the balance and blend of their music. Quinn knew guitarist Sam Cooper in high school in Philadelphia, but they didn’t start writing songs and performing together until they both moved to Los Angeles in 2016.
They were soon joined by classically trained Miclau, drummer Sotiris Eliopoulos and bassist Michael Byrnes.
Although they are each talented musicians in their own right, the songs are written and performed in a way that gives each member moments to shine. Miclau’s piano skills are particularly impressive; sometimes she played keyboard and piano simultaneously with one hand on each.
Local audiences weren’t the only ones devoted to the band: the day after Sandy’s show, Mt. Joy and Wilderado played Colorado’s famous Red Rocks. If venues are to be believed, these bands are both mainstays of the indie rock world.
Both bands’ current albums, Wilderado’s self-titled record and Mt. Joy’s “Orange Blood,” are available to stream on multiple platforms. λ