With the clouds finally parted and a pluvial lull setting in over the city, Wednesday night’s No Joy show seemed to be rain checked by many a potential attendee. So sparsely populated as to arouse some disappointment, the porosity of the Media Club left a more substantial and developed atmosphere to be sought-after. However, without the usual clutter of a shoulder-to-shoulder audience, the opposing candors of the two performances were easily distinguishable.
Opening band, local rockers Diane, reflected the pedestrian atmosphere one would expect out on a lonely street, or in an empty auditorium. While playing a few tunes that might normally incite some sort of flurry or fervor, Diane’s trio fell short of inspiring much excitement.
Although exhibiting their usual penchant for chugging riffs and monotonous melodies, what was heard in their brief bit of banter, and could be seen on the still of their faces, was a certain degree of disillusion. Even in the concluding moments of their set, which included one of their stompers, “Religion,” a seemingly indifferent crowd perfunctorily reciprocated their inhibited tenor.
Luckily enough, No Joy’s cross-country trek didn’t go entirely unappreciated. Livelier than it had been only moments before, the ballroom began to instantiate its familiar feeling of welcomed belligerence.
Their set, which included a slew of songs off their new album, Wait to Pleasure, seemed to go unaffected by the modest assembly, and truly shone with all sorts of dynamic colours. Having mastered the implementation of vocal loops and effect-laden melodies, songs such as “Hare Tarot Lies” and “Hawaii” involved an intricacy worth marveling at.
Any sort of reticence expected was completely and utterly curtailed. And although relying on tropes pervasively employed throughout many of their songs, there was never a lack of interest or visible commitment seen in the musicians themselves.
Ending off the night with their new album’s introductory song, “E,” No Joy showcased their tacit conviction that both professionalism and passion are essential to even the smallest show.