By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 23, 2018) – “These dreams are more than paper things,” sings Mt. Joy’s Matt Quinn on the band’s hit song “Astrovan,” a tune about a Deadhead enthused Jesus parading around in his Astrovan while nursing a joint. However, for many in attendance for the band’s performance at The Burl on Wednesday night, their dream was simply to be there, sharing the moment with a band that has seen their stardom explode since the March release of their debut record. The performance was the band’s second in Lexington, following opening for Neko Case at Manchester Music Hall in March.
Before the Philly-LA indie folk quintet performed, a near-sellout crowd was treated to an abbreviated 30-minute set from Lexington indie-rock outfit Isle of Eight. The group, comprised of Isaac Craft on guitar and lead vocals, Nick Bernard on guitar and Dale Devore on drums opened with an easy-going set blending psychedelic and surfer rock influences on originals such as “Reptillion,” “Jean Jacket” and “Sicker,” resulting in a sound similar to another band that’s performed The Burl in the past in Los Colognes (who will be back in Kentucky in October for The Moonshiner’s Ball). The group’s sound was held firmly intact, despite the absence of bassist Austin Vitucci for the performance.
Following Isle of Eight, Mt. Joy took the stage to a rousing ovation from the crowd before breaking into “I’m Your Wreck,” coincidentally also the opening track from March’s self-titled debut, which is currently the #7 album on AAA radio, charting for every week since its release. “I’m Your Wreck” quickly segued into “Bigfoot” with the cosmic guitar of Sam Cooper. “Jenny Jenkins” and “Astrovan” followed before the grouped jumped into a new tune not on their record titled “Ruins,” which featured a bluesy vibe showcasing Quinn’s versatile voice.
Later in the band’s set during a performance of “Julia,” admittedly this critic’s favorite number off the record, featuring a jump into Bill Withers’ classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” following the first verse and finally weaving its way back to “Julia” following a rambunctious organ solo from Jackie MicLau. The group ended their set with the crowd singing along to hit song “Silver Lining.”
Following a brief departure, Mt. Joy returned to the stage for a two-song encore beginning with a cover of Neil Young’s “Don’t Let it Bring You Down.” The group has said in the past that Young was one of each of the five band member’s only common musical influences. The group closed out their show with a whistling Quinn on “Cardinal,” a song about being yourself and finding what makes you happy despite what others may think.
View the setlist of Mt. Joy’s performance at The Burl below, and check out upcoming tour dates and more on their website.
Mt. Joy at The Burl (June 20, 2018)
I’m Your Wreck
Julia > Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers cover) > Julia
Don’t Let it Bring You Down (Neil Young cover)