I was a little surprised that they were the only band on the bill for the night. I don’t think I have ever been to the Merchant before without seeing a opening band before. The night started a little later than normal the Joys didn’t get going until a little after eleven, which was a little bummer for me since I got there around nine thirty but the bar was open and the baseball game was still on so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Right from the first note that Sarah hit with her guitar she became alive and electric and she kept the pace up throughout the rest of the night. We got to hear songs from their past two albums including a couple of covers thrown in for good measure. There were a couple of original songs that I wanted to hear and a couple of covers as well, but I thought to myself that the covers may have been a stretch since I haven’t watched them play live in such a long time. They used to do a wicked AC/DC mix but I didn’t think that montage would have been included, which it wasn’t in the end. One cover in particular which I didn’t think I would ever hear played live let alone a rock cover was “Walkin On Sunshine” When Sarah started to play the beginning of the song I thought she was playing it as a joke or as a filler but as she quickly fill in with the lyrics the audience started to become a little more alive as well. Sarah throughout the song brought the song to higher levels of energy by the way she was dancing and moving throughout the song, which did pass along to the audience as well. But due to the smaller stage which is at The Merchant she came close a couple of times cracking herself or her guitar off the post at the back of the stage. Sarah wasn’t scared to share the mic either during a couple of songs she leaned the mic towards whoever was in the front of the stage to give them a hand in singing a few lyrics out for the Merchant.
I was more looking forward to hear songs off of their second album or first album depending on how you look at the catalogue because of the name change which the Joys went through. I was looking forward to these songs as I am a little more familiar and have heard them live a couple of times before. “Beautiful” was one of the songs which was a definite must hear, which I did see on the set list as a encore song but with the sound guy never letting any bands do encore songs for some reason we got denied in hearing the song which kind of pissed me off a little because it’s not like he really had to work hard in letting the Joys play just two more songs. But we still got to hear a steady and hard hitting set list none the less. Off their album Unfold there were a couple of songs which got picked off the album which got a good response from the album including the song “Shady” which Sarah had a good speech at the start of the songs which pretty much the entire audience could relate to, so immediately the song had enough build up that it became an audience favourite. Off the new album Adventures In…”High”, “Hard Makin Money” hit it pretty big with the audience and really nailed the edgier rock side of The Joys. To top it all off if you found that the guitars and drums were not enough for your ears you get Sarah’s raw vocals to top it all off. It was well worth the wait to see The Joys play again hopefully it will not be such a long time before the next time.