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Sandy Journal

Indie rock bands Mt. Joy and Wilderado play to loyal crowd at Sandy Amphitheater

Sep 08, 2022 11:14AM ● By Heather Lawrence

The band Mt. Joy played to a loyal crowd at the Sandy Amphitheater Aug. 16. Fans came early to get their seats and merchandise in support of the five-piece group. Tulsa-based band Wilderado opened the show.   

“We’re so happy to be back in Utah, one of the most beautiful places on the planet,” said lead singer Matt Quinn at the start of the set. “Now let’s have some fun!”

It was a good night for a show at the amphitheater with the weather cooperating and the audience excited. Mt. Joy is promoting their third album, “Orange Blood.” 

Wilderado was a good match as Mt. Joy’s opening act. They’re touring together throughout the summer. They quickly got into an easy groove, and had people up on their feet with songs off their latest album, the self-titled “Wilderado.”

The group is based in Tulsa, but two of the members are from Austin. One of those is Jack Malonis, a multi-instrumentalist who played keyboards and filled in gaps in percussion for the show. 

“We’ve known them (Mt. Joy) for years and get along really well. This is the first time we’ve toured with them, but we’re having a great time. We’re doing about 20 shows with them this summer,” said Malonis. 

Wilderado finished the set with their mellow song “Rubble to Rubble,” which shows off their southern roots. 

It’s a simple melody played and sung by lead singer Max Rainer. Malonis and the rest of the band—Tyler Wimpee, Justin Kila and David Arthur Stimson—put down their instruments and stepped up to mics to sing with Rainer. The harmonies were especially effective on the chorus lyrics, “I’m on my way.”

After a quick break to reset the stage, indie band Mt. Joy came on to roaring applause. The audience of mostly 20- and 30-somethings were up with the first song, and stayed up to dance and sing for the rest of the show. 

Their song “Strangers” opened with a fast-paced piano solo by keyboardist Jackie Miclau. The song is off their second album, “Rearrange Us,” and they performed it when they were on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2020. 

Another fan favorite was “I’m Your Wreck” which is from their 2018 eponymous debut album. 

The numbers blended seamlessly from one number to another, with Quinn checking in with the audience every few songs. Flashing lights and a set with large silver spheres kept the energy up.

The group’s history together comes across in the balance and blend of their music. Quinn knew guitarist Sam Cooper in high school in Philadelphia, but they didn’t start writing songs and playing together until both were living in L.A. in 2016. 

They were soon joined by the classically trained Miclau, drummer Sotiris Eliopoulos and bassist Michael Byrnes. 

Though they’re each skilled musicians in their own right, the songs are written and performed in a way that gives each member moments to shine. Miclau’s piano skills are especially impressive; at times she played the keyboard and piano simultaneously with one hand on each.       

The local crowd wasn’t alone in their devotion to the band—the day after the Sandy show, Mt. Joy and Wilderado played at the iconic Red Rocks in Colorado. If venues are anything to go by, then these bands are both mainstays of the indie rock world. 

Both bands’ current albums, Wilderado’s self-titled record and Mt. Joy’s “Orange Blood,” are available to stream on several platforms. λ