Home Live Review Live Review: Two Door Cinema Club w/ Joywave @ The Anthem — 3/1/24

Live Review: Two Door Cinema Club w/ Joywave @ The Anthem — 3/1/24

Live Review: Two Door Cinema Club w/ Joywave @ The Anthem — 3/1/24
Two Door Cinema Club perform at The Anthem in DC on March 1, 2024. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

The excellent post-punk trio Two Door Cinema Club formed in Northern Ireland 17 years ago. Fourteen years ago, the band released their debut album, Tourist History.

And about a week ago, Two Door Cinema Club played its largest headlining concert performance to date in a sold-out show at The Anthem, as reported by bassist Kevin Baird.

Kevin dropped the terrifically satisfying fact in the latter half of Two Door Cinema Club’s appearance at The Anthem on March 1, where the band had indeed sold out the 6,000-capacity venue for a night of wonderfully intelligent upbeat dance music. What a triumphant return to the USA indeed, gents!

During the show, Alex Trimble (vocals, rhythm guitar), Sam Halliday (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Kevin Baird (bass, synths, backing vocals) alternated from a cheerful disposition as they were serenading fans to a determined demeanor as they stomped through some kinetic guitar riffs. The band opened their set with “Sure Enough,” their sole new single since the release of their 2022 album, Keep on Smiling. The rapid, stunning song seemed to propel the trio into action with its driving drums and buoyant synths. Alex, Sam, and Kevin all seized their guitars and amazed the audience with this fresh new number (which lyrically appears to protest misinformation today’s society?).

Watch the official music video for “Sure Enough” by Two Door Cinema Club on YouTube:

That most recent full-length album, Keep on Smiling, received some nominal love from the band with three selections scattered throughout the set, including standout “Lucky.” But it was the very first record, released in 2010, that got the lion’s share of attention from both Two Door Cinema Club and the full house at The Anthem. The undiminished love for Tourist History burned strong and bright throughout the concert, and I can barely begin to tell you how awesome it all was. But I’ll try!

Across 23 numbers, Two Door Cinema Club pulled 10 songs for their set from Tourist History, visiting it promptly with the second song of the night, “I Can Talk.” But spirits were truly high for “Something Good Can Work” early in the set. The sunny, tropical-feeling love song filled the air with good vibes. Alex’s voice was in fine form as he sliced through the speedy lyrical pace, and the whole band consistently kept us in the groove.

About three-quarters through the show, I was pleasantly surprised by the entire crowd’s unabashed love for “Undercover Martyn,” another single from Tourist History. Everyone sang along heartily to the rollicking number, which was delivered by Alex from his position firmly planted in the middle of the stage.

Watch the official music video for “Undercover Martyn” by Two Door Cinema Club on YouTube:

Two Door Cinema Club of course closed their show with “What You Know,” the 2011 indie hit that truly put them on the map. The song was a remarkable showcase for Alex’s soothing and powerful voice. Sam was having the time of his life, playing willfully with wild abandon on stage right, and Kevin radiated both peace and strength on bass from his position on stage left. The audience, for its part, went absolutely bananas, singing and dancing along to “What You Know” and its refrain: “And I can tell just what you want/ You don’t want to be alone.”

I’ll add that Two Door Cinema Club played something from all five of their studio albums, but nothing was more stirring than a superb and moving delivery of the band’s song “Changing of the Seasons” from the EP of the same name around the show’s one-third mark. Two Door Cinema Club surely were inspired by Roxy Music when composing the well-crafted “kiss-off song,” which imbues a touch of glam in its narrative of faded romance. What a number, and what a great performance of it.

Two Door Cinema Club welcomed the new-wavish trio Joywave, proudly hailing from Rochester, New York, to open the show. And so, if the audience were in an exceptionally good mood, the Joywave deserved a lot of credit for it. The band enjoyed a warm reception from the sold-out room, which turned up early to seem them, as frontman Daniel Armbruster and company strutted and mugged through a dozen songs. Carefree fun was Joywave’s first and only order of business.

Daniel was endlessly expressive and emoted with his hands as he gave his whole self to the audience. The laidback vocalist and guitarist had charisma and easy confidence to spare. Clad in glasses and a fuzzy coat worn over a 9:30 Club t-shirt, Daniel was always in motion, and his clear tenor gave life to every song.

“If you know *one* Joywave song, you know this next number!” Daniel declared before launching into their cover of “Dangerous” by Big Data about three-quarters into their set. After banging out the amusing number, Joywave played “Tongues” from their debut full-length album, How Do You Feel Now? “If you know *two* Joywave songs, you also know this one!” Daniel said by way of introduction to “Tongues.”

Watch the official music video for “Tongues” by Joywave featuring KOPPS on YouTube:

Thoroughly enjoyable, Joywave were totally “full of beans,” as my grandmother would say. Near the end of the set, the band performed new single “Brain Damage,” which heralds a new album in this year! Daniel announced, fully revealing his 9:30 Club shirt, that Joywave would return to DC on their own headlining tour to perform at 9:30 Club in October in support of the album. Keep your eyes open for an official announcement!

Speaking of headlining shows, recall how we began this review by sharing Two Door Cinema Club’s confirmation that The Anthem date was their biggest headlining show of their career? Well, the trio recently announced their biggest USA headlining tour ever! Not only do they have a few more US dates this week (and hit a spate of US Southwest dates in May), they return to our country for a tour that begins in Atlanta on July 13 and ends in Nashville on Oct. 3.

See Two Door Cinema Club when you can! These guys are on fire!

Here are some photos of Joywave opening Two Door Cinema Club on March 1, 2024. All pictures by Mickey McCarter.


Here are some photos of Two Door Cinema Club performing at The Anthem on March 1, 2024. All pictures by Mickey McCarter.




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