The Vocals On Top concert scorecard is an attempt to quickly and concisely review a live concert. The scoring system is intended to encapsulate not only the performance but the venue, audience and overall value of the show among other factors. Here are my thoughts on a recent show:
- Artist: Mt. Joy
- Openers: Wilderado
- Date: 10/14/19
- City: Kansas City, MO
- Venue: The Madrid
Overall Score 68/100
The Madrid is a cool theater that has just touches of the fanciness of The Midland and The Uptown in Kansas City but on a much lower scale. It has the feel of an old high school gym actually but it’s appropriate for concerts. Seating the in balcony and standing room on the floor, the floor wins out most times as it did for the Mt. Joy show.
The crowd wasn’t as young as I anticipated but still stuck mainly to patrons in their 20s. Some emphatic fans but not much distracting behavior, they definitely weren’t the best crowd the band has seen but gave a good effort toward filling the venue.
Wilderado are buddies of Mt. Joy and worked as nice openers here. Nothing to blow people away but they are a solid indie band much in the vein of the headliners.
Mt. Joy has a pretty specific look to their merch, it matches their album art and for the most part were a bit of a let down. The band definitely gets extra points for selling a super cool tour poster.
The Madrid sound from the few shows I’ve seen there is pretty standard, it seems like a bit of a hard room to control but everything seemed balanced and the vocals were clear.
Mt. Joy is already sticking to a standard setlist, with just one album out it is hard to add much variety. They did mix in 4 new songs from an upcoming album and while none of them were fantastic live they all seemed to fit the esthetic of the band and none of them were a disappointment. The setlist was heavily loaded with many of the best songs like “Bigfoot” “Astrovan” and “Sheep” right at the beginning of the show.
The young group appears still a bit stiff, likely still honing their musicianship. They zeroed in on their songs and stayed true to the versions everyone knows from Spotify.
The band can hit their spots on their songs but the extra focus on this made showmanship minimal. Singer Matt Quinn really shows he is the driving force behind the band being a very good singer and being able to use his bandmates well.
The beauty of seeing a band this early in their career is you really get to see the phases of the band develop fast and see them grow as a group. They seem to have good control of what the audience wants to hear and mixed in some interesting parts of covers of “Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz, Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Do You Realize” by the Flaming Lips. One new song, “Vibe” was performed for the first time ever.
Cheap tickets helped soften the blow of the really unfairly high beer prices at The Madrid, it’s probably the biggest problem with the venue. A small venue charging Sprint Center prices for alcohol seems unfair but it isn’t really a bar and they appear to do this at every show.
Final Score 68/100
A really great rising star band that is building its fanbase by the day was great to see at this stage of their career. They created a fun evening and a great set of songs with a few new songs for the first few performances ever.