On January 13, 2016, Frances Quinlan of Hop Along and Barry Johnson of Joyce Manor did something they rarely do, play solo. This will always be remembered as the night Frances Quinlan made me cry and Barry Johnson made me admit I like Joyce Manor.
The crowd was a good mix of young and younger. Lots of plaid, baseball caps, and black clothes. Gladly there was less of those loud pop punk screaming fans. These fans seemed more real. They were there to listen, and actually take in the music of these musicians.
When Frances Quinlan came on stage, the crowd went quiet. I think I may have been the only one muttering something about my beer being in the way, for the first time at a show connected to Joyce Manor: I felt like the loud one. I also was the only one in my view with their phone out, but I was just trying really hard to get at least one good photo. (I think I got two, because I had to put my phone down the moment she started to sing). Quinlan’s voice reminds me of that anxious feeling when you don’t know what to say, so you kind of want to barf it all out, but she lets it out in a cracking and beautiful voice. Everyone in the crowd was silent. We all looked as in we were holding something in and she was letting it out for us. Frances is the real deal. She didn’t need any help to make us listen. We were all emotionally involved in the moment. I make jokes about how much I cry, when in all honesty I never cry in public, but during performance, I couldn’t stop tearing up.
No one wanted her set to end. I think some of us even cried more when it was over. I did find out that she’s coming back to the bay with all of Hop Along soon. They’re playing with Dr. Dog at the Fox Theater on January 30th.