Tim Kinsella remarked that if a freshman came out to see Joan of Arc’s last Champaign show, they’d be finishing their graduate degree by the time Joan of Arc returned to CU, Saturday at Cowboy Monkey.
He also remarked that a potential new band member, record label personnel, and even a new girlfriend were all in the show’s audience. Perhaps the time laps and the pressure might cause a lesser musician to “fuck up.” Thankfully, Joan of Arc did anything but mess it up. They began the set with an instrumental; it was fast, hard, and played tightly by all members of the band. It seems, in contrast to their albums, Joan of Arc is taking a minimalist approach to live shows: show what you can do with just instruments, amplifiers, and a raspy voice.
The drum parts were complicated, but precise; the two guitar parts complimented each other nicely; Kinsella screamed, danced and hit his guitar with a tambourine. He seemed nervous between songs, but when he was emoting on stage, he was comfortable. This is my favorite kind of concert: one where musicians play their instruments and show off how well their songs are written. No spectacle; no pomp. Just music that sounds rhythmic, melodic, and raw.