Joey Cape of Lagwagon Talks Acoustic Shows and It's Not Dead Fest

Joey Cape of Lagwagon Talks Acoustic Shows and It's Not Dead Fest
Courtesy Fat Wreck Chords

If you ask Joey Cape, there are already enough (maybe too many) singers and songwriters from established bands who decide to go off and do their own solo acoustic thing on the side.

"There are a lot of people doing it, and it's starting to get pretty saturated," Cape says. "There was a time when bands weren't selling as many records, so a lot of singer-songwriters were doing it as another way to make money. Now, you shouldn't do it for the money, because it's so saturated it's difficult to get people to come to the shows."

Cape, the vocalist for 25-year-old punk band Lagwagon, brings his own acoustic solo show to the Constellation Room inside the Observatory on Thursday night. Although it certainly won't be as big as a Lagwagon concert, there are still certain things about the more intimate solo performances that Cape wouldn't want to change.

"It's awesome to play with different people every time," Cape says. "I'll tour with some people many times because we have a special chemistry, but it's never the same group of people. It's awesome collaborating on their songs and having them collaborate on mine."

The difference isn't just for Cape though. After decades of playing with a well-known punk band, the 48-year-old performer believes the acoustic sets offer a whole new experience for the fans of both Lagwagon and his solo music.

"Acoustic shows are always different," Cape says. "They're smaller shows in smaller venues with less people, and it's a nice change. There are elements to acoustic shows that don't exist in full band shows."

Of course, Lagwagon has never had a huge radio single or popular video in regular rotation on MTV (back when MTV used to show videos), but that's more or less by design, according to Cape. The band still has plenty of fans, and they've all proven willing to go see the band play time and time again for the last couple of decades. It's helped to keep the band's shows and sound consistent, except for that time they played in front of thousands and thousands of screaming fans at It's Not Dead Fest last weekend. That was a little different, but Cape isn't complaining (nor is anyone else who was there).

"The festival was great because it felt like we were a part of something really special," Cape says. "It was a nice capper and a poetic ending to everything that's happened in the last two decades. To have Kevin Lyman create something like that was really cool, and I don't know, but I don't think a show like that will ever happen again."

The show starts at 8:00 at the Constellation Room inside the Observatory. Tickets cost $15.

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