Concert Review: Joywave / Dizzy / Elliot Lee @ Empire Live, 04/01/2023

Joywave brought in an impressive crowd last night at Empire Live. The Rochester natives made their long-anticipated return to Albany with talented openers Elliot Lee and Dizzy to open the 2023 Express Wash Tour.

Photo by Reid Schaefer

Elliot Lee was the first to take the stage and kicked off the night with an impressive solo set. The Brooklyn-based artist had a unique sound, charming stage presence, and entertaining crowd engagement. Their set list included hit songs “Drama Queen” and “Pink (Freak),” as well as a quick mashup of some of their unreleased songs. Lee is an artist on the rise that you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for.

Dizzy followed shortly after with a heartfelt performance of original songs, including “Joshua,” “Stars and Moons,” and fan-favorite “Sunflower, Are You There?” Vocalist Katie Munshaw effortlessly captivated the crowd as she delivered every lyric with emotion that could be felt from miles away. The Spencer brothers set the tone with beautiful guitar riffs from Alex as Charlie and Mackenzie kept the rhythm flowing on the drums and bass, respectively. Their set concluded with the recent single “Birthmark,” which will be featured on their newest album set to release this August. 

Photo by Reid Schaefer

As Dizzy exited, an upbeat interlude began to play as tour members prepped the stage. A black cover in the back corner of the stage was removed, revealing half of a white Corvette with a custom JOYWAVE New York license plate. Fans called for the band as the lights dimmed and the interlude ended. Anticipation increased as the sounds of an engine revving echoed through the venue. Suddenly, the headlights on the Corvette flickered on, and the band took the stage.

Joywave made a memorable entrance as frontman Daniel Armbruster hyped the crowd with his electric stage presence. The band opened their set with “Every Window Is A Mirror” from their 2022 album Cleanse, “Coming Apart” from their fourth album Possession, and the hit song “It’s A Trip!” which has amassed over 54 million streams on Spotify. Guitarist Joseph Morinelli kept the groove while Paul Brenner appeared on the drums. Their set list included a diverse mix of songs from their discography before closing out the night with popular hits “Tongues,” “Dangerous,” and “Destruction.”

Photo by Reid Schaefer

The energy in the crowd was exhilarating throughout the show, and the stage scene was brilliant. If you haven’t been following the band, their previous stage setup for their 2022 tour resembled a car wash! Their car sat center-stage as it “drove” through the bristles of the wash. Armbruster described this tour’s setup as their way of exiting the Cleanse era: the Corvette sits in the back corner with the backlights behind the stage representing them driving away. Overall, Joywave put on a fantastic show. If you haven’t been to one of their shows before, you will certainly want to add them to your concert agenda in the future. 

Photo Gallery of Joywave by Reid Schaefer

Photo Gallery of Dizzy by Reid Schaefer

Photo Gallery of Elliot Lee by Reid Schaefer

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