Upstate on stage: Joywave at Town Ballroom


Daniel Armbruster, lead vocalist of the upstate New York band Joywave, talked about the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester while he drank Genesee beer between songs at Town Ballroom Wednesday night.

Joywave closed its “Thanks. Thanks for Coming” tour at the local venue, featuring performances from other upstate-based groups, Humble Braggers and Kopps. The tour also featured California-native and singer-songwriter Sasha Sloan.

The audience’s energy spiked when the crew set up for Joywave. They laid out television props that read messages throughout the band’s set. The crowd became even more lively after the crew pulled down Joywave’s banner that would hang behind the drum set.

As the smoke poured in, Joywave took the stage. The audience on the floor of the venue stood shoulder-to-shoulder in anticipation for the 13-song-set and three-song encore.

The crowd roared for the performance of Joywave’s song “Doubt,” which the band had previously performed on “The Late Show.” The stage lights flashed between blue and red, while smoke poured out from a machine off-stage.

Armbruster showed devotion to his bandmates. He cheered them on as they performed solos and intricate instrumental verses.

Joywave ended it’s set with “Going to a Place.” Members of the band left the stage while keyboardist Benjamin Bailey played them out.

As Bailey finished his solo and left the stage, the crowd erupted into a chant, demanding an encore. The house lights dimmed again and the band returned, thrilling the audience.

Joywave thanked the crew and previous acts for their help with the tour and played their song “Tongues,” featuring Patricia Patrón from opener Kopps.

The audience cheered as she came back on stage and performed with Joywave. They officially ended the performance with the tour’s titular song, “Thanks. Thanks for Coming.”

The audience greeted Kopps with cheers during their opening set. Kopps provided a five-song set with intense choreography from the lead vocalist and the bass and guitar players.

During Joywave’s second song, Armbruster came out to join the group with their collaborated song “Hott,” inspiring fans in front of the stage to dance along to the performance.

Sloan put on a different performance from the other acts. The pop singer began her act by introducing her touring band members and professed she would be performing “really f*cking sad [music].”

Before the band began performing, Sloan requested the lights be dimmed in order to bring forward a melancholy tone to match the intimacy of her performance. Her songs offered a look into dysfunctional relationships and the trials of being a young adult.

Sloan ended her performance with her new song “Good Enough,” an intimate look into her battle with eating disorders and insecurities. She dismissed her bandmates for the final song and performed solo on piano. The demeanor of the audience changed from high-energy to a hushed appreciation for her artistry.

Samantha Vargas is an arts staff writer and can be reached at