Words and Photos by Joe Calixto
Alrighty! After a rollercoaster of a year, I am/we are finally back at it (kinda). First of all, I hope you are well and staying healthy and safe. Personally, I really thought I was never gonna be able to photograph live shows again, but here we are, and I gotta tell you—IT FEELS SO DAMN GOOD.
I’m sure I got a bazillion things to say about how my 2020 went but that’s not what you’re here to see, so enough of this rambling.
Two months ago, Joyce Manor hit us with a show announcement that got people extremely excited. It was an extremely stacked lineup at an extremely big venue for our favorite south bay rockers to celebrate 10 years of an extremely bangin’ record. The show sold out in a day, and they had to add a second date, which also ended up selling out.
Fastforward to last weekend. I saw how insane the first night looked, so I was beyond excited coming into the second night. This was my third show back but my first show to shoot on assignment. It was definitely so refreshing having to do the whole process of picking up credentials and whatnot. And it was absolutely incredible to see all the other photographers I haven’t seen in a year back at it. My heart was as warm as the venue.
Kicking things off were another band from the lovely town of Torrance, CA. Merry Christmas sent it with a very energy-filled set. I’m pretty sure I saw them gig at a small venue in Long Beach a while back, so it’s great to see them rock the Palladium.
The next two acts are no strangers to this scene and your hearts. Scranton’s own Tigers Jaw also didn’t waste any time by opening their set with a block of their old hits that got the crowd mad excited. The band also mixed it up with new jams from a record they released earlier this year, which is one of my favorite releases of 2021. If you haven’t (which I highly doubt, you haven’t) listened to it yet, go check that out … NOW!
Turnover started the set in a similar fashion, which got the crowd singing at the top of their lungs and feeling things. It’s such a bummer that this band gets a bad rap of being boring live coz last night there was zero indication of that. Also, you’re definitely supposed to vibe out to this band. Nonetheless, an amazing performance from the folks from Virginia Beach.
After a quick change-up, Joyce Manor took the stage and didn’t waste a single second, hitting a very sold-out Hollywood Palladium with their debut, self-titled record front to back. It’s crazy how such a record has stood the test of time and still hits the same no matter if you’re a day one JM fan or just got into them during quarantine. Congrats to 10 years of such a fucking jammer!
So yeah, we did it, saw lots of people wearing band Ts they probably accumulated during quarantine, American traditional tattoos, drunk bros in the lobby, an extremely long line to the women’s restroom, and a lot of people who are just happy to be back at a show.
I’m pretty sure being cooped up at home for the past 365 days has given us a lot of pent-up excitement and also a lot of anxiety, but damn, y’all showed the fuck up!
This was definitely a stubborn reminder that one perfect night’s not enough. So let’s keep safe and keep healthy and look after one another. It’s good to be back.