Desaparecidos – The Glass House – November 3, 2013

The Glass House

Joyce Manor's energetic set seemed like the pinnacle for the evening. The crowd piled on each other as the band ended with their song “Constant Headache.” The security guards at the barricades were hardly being able to snatch all the crowd surfers. However, Conor Oberst's ability to follow up with a completely different, but equally overpowering set with his band Desaparecidos at the Glass House last night proved that both bands have a pretty interested indie rock alliance going right now.

While Oberst's band had the entire crowd focused on the moment with every politically charged lyric and aching crescendo, Joyce Manor's energy brought teenage angst and aggression to the sold out crowd that stretched all the way up into the balcony last night.


If you don't know Joyce Manor, you must not have been to a Southern California DIY show in 2011 because they virtually opened every single one. Originally from Torrance, the L.A.-area band's popularity seemed to explode overnight as they gained popularity through Tumblr's rabid pop-punk community. After spending years paying dues in basements and living rooms opening for whoever was coming through, the band now has an international audience and the ability to sell out Chain Reaction on a whim.

Their heavily Jawbreaker-influenced debut self-titled release went out on Huntington Beach's 6131 records in the beginning of 2011, and became an underground hit, as songs like “Beach Community,” “Leather Jacket,” and “Constant Headache” became staples in the local DIY punk scene.

Now after touring the world, the band are too big to play at most of the DIY venues that gave them their start.

The minute Joyce Manor started their set with “Five Beer Plan” the audience was treated to a setlist stacked with fan favorites. Mixing in new songs and their version of “Midnight Service at the Mutter Museum,” written by the Murder City Devils, the band flew through their songs (most of them under 2 minutes) with the perfect amount of aggression and precision.

The politically charged Desaparecidos are fronted by modern folk legend Conor Oberst. Oberst is known for his work writing acoustic songs under the name Bright Eyes. Although Oberst has been known for being political even with his Bright Eyes project, Desaparecidos takes it a step further, using Spanish words and often references atrocities against Latin America by the US.

Between songs, the band played samples of strange anti-liberal public service announcements and Oberst gave away some surprisingly uplifting messages about attempting to make change in our world. Certain points in the show did feel a preachy with the amount of progressive propaganda the band was pushing, but it was brought back down by the cynicism and satiric nature of the content. If you like to keep your music and your politics separate, Desaparecidos are not for you.

Oberst and company brought the emotions full circle growing Joyce Manor's younger crowd into a more mature and conscious audience. Though they were two very different bands, the show fit together perfectly. Apparently the U.S. tour Desaparecidos brought Joyce Manor on last year created a significant bond between the bands, who are now used to finishing each others sentences on stage and occasionally each others setlists.

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