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Saves the Day + Joyce Manor bring Nostalgia, Emo Rock, to Cedar Cultural Center

This article is about seventeen years in the making. In 2002 my brother invited me to a Saves the Day show. I hadn’t seen a live show yet (I was 13), and I was a bit nervous. So, being “too cool,” lied and told my brother that Saves the Day was lame and I didn’t want to go. It has been seven studio albums and nearly twenty members since the band toured on Stay What You Are. They are currently touring on their new album, 9 (named for being their ninth studio album). Tonight I had the chance to finally go to that show with my brother.

Joyce Manor Cedar Cultural Center Minnesota 2019
Joyce Manor by Alex Kohnstamm

When I got there, Joyce Manor was taking the stage. It was representative of the great difference in the new wave of “emo rock” for them to open for Saves the Day, a band who had been involved in starting the movement more than two decades previously.

Joyce Manor Minneapolis 2019
Joyce Manor by Alex Kohnstamm

I later learned that The Cedar had moved up the show times by thirty minutes, which meant when I got there, when the music was supposed to start, awakebutstillinbed had already played. 

Joyce Manor Minneapolis 2019
Joyce Manor by Alex Kohnstamm

Joyce Manor had a very basic lighting set up. Nothing fancy. Just about the music here. Emo Rock is not really about the vocals sounding good, but rather about the music sounding good. 

Saves the Day Minneapolis 2019
Saves the Day by Alex Kohnstamm

There was a mix of moshing, fans jumping around, and people just chilling in the back. It wasn’t a full room, it was also an all-ages show (seeing younger kids moshing gave me hope for the future). I haven’t been to an all-ages show for a bit (since Billie Eilish, I’m pretty sure). My brother is 35 and seemed pretty sure he was the oldest person there.

Saves the Day Minneapolis 2019
Saves the Day by Alex Kohnstamm

Joyce played very well together. Barry, their lead singer, did a great job of getting the crowd amped up. He jumped around. They have good slapping bass, they also all back each other up on vocals, which is pretty great to see. 

Saves the Day Minneapolis 2019
Saves the Day by Alex Kohnstamm

Then, there was a curveball. Joyce Manor proceeded to do about the next thirty minutes/eight songs by audience selection, which I’ve never seen before. Now, you might be used to seeing this at a show, MAYBE, but the band refused to play a bunch of songs until they found what the audience liked. They even had to quickly relearn some songs. It was neat to watch.

Saves the Day Minneapolis 2019
Saves the Day by Alex Kohnstamm

Saves the Day took the stage and got off to a slow, pitchy start, Chris Conley has been the lead singer and leader of the band since 1994, and gained momentum from the start.

Saves the Day Minneapolis 2019
Saves the Day by Alex Kohnstamm

They played a great mix of their entire discography, even from their demo. It was a great way to bring back the nostalgia of their older work.

The band is approaching their 40s and still rocking the skinny jeans and the love of their music, and that’s enough. Chris still gives his all for his shows. I was a little disappointed he didn’t interact more with the crowd or make more use of the stage. I guess it can be hard with a five-piece band on The Cedar stage, but I guess I just wanted more from them. All in all, it was a solid show. 

Saves the Day Minneapolis 2019
Saves the Day by Alex Kohnstamm

Where Joyce Manor really had the crowd headbanging and moshing, Saves the Day had more people singing along. In the end, it was nice to finally go to that show with my brother. This show would have been amazing at The Triple Rock right across the street, but we all know how much we miss that venue.

Saves the Day Minneapolis 2019
Saves the Day by Alex Kohnstamm

SET LIST:

  • Houses & Billboards
  • Say You’ll Never Leave
  • The Last Lie I Told
  • When It Isn’t Like it Should Be
  • Nightingale
  • Anywhere With You
  • A Drag in D Flat
  • Do You Know what I love the Most?
  • Sometimes, New Jersey
  • Suzuki
  • Xenophobic Blind Left Hook
  • In Reverie
  • All-Star Me
  • Cars & Calories
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Z
  • Bones
  • You Vandal
  • Jukebox Breakdown
  • Holly Hox, Forget me Nots
  • Firefly
  • Banned from the Back Porch
  • Jodie

Written by Alex Kohnstamm

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