Joan w/ Harriette

Joan• Harriette• June 13, 2023• Soundwell

Reviewed and Photographed by Logan Fang

On June 13th, Joan visited Salt Lake City to celebrate the release of their new album Superglue. The indie pop band hailing from Little Rock Arkansas performed in 20 different cities across the nation as part of their tour and stopped at Soundwell in SLC to round off their journeys. The small yet festive venue hosted roughly a hundred guests on its main floor. The open seating of Soundwell enabled attendees, like myself, to watch the performance from close up. 

The night commenced with a meet-and-greet with Joan. The line was relatively short, but Joan eagerly talked with guests about their music and tour across the country. It was a great opportunity for VIP ticket holders to meet the artists and snag a few quick photos with them. After the line died down, everyone moved onto the floor where we would be standing for the show. The open area allowed guests to mingle and chat amongst one another. Standing at the front of the stage, I met a friendly couple from Provo who were long-time fans of Joan. While there wasn’t a designated area where I would be taking photos, I enjoyed being able to talk to other people in the crowd. 


After chatting with a few audience members, the performance kicked off with supporting artist Hariette who opened for Joan. Her set began with a few more moody and low-key songs, starting with “bc i love you” and “i heart the internet.” Both of her songs were familiar hits that the crowd sang along with. My favorite song of her short set however was “Goodbye Texas.” The song talks about her complex relationship with the conservative environment she grew up in.

Despite being born and raised in Texas, she finds herself at odds with its culture and politics as a Democrat. Harriette pokes fun at her home state in the song, asking “And if I don’t vote Republican can I still come home again around Christmas?” Aside from her witty lyricism, Hariette paid homage to her southern roots through the ironic, country twist she adds to the song. In “Goodbye Texas,” Hariette explores her identity but does so in a lighthearted and sing-along way that highlights her sweet, charismatic nature. It’s her personable appeal that shines through in this song which makes “Goodbye Texas” my favorite of the set. 


After Harriette ended with her biggest song “at least i’m pretty” we waited a little while for Joan to come on stage. While I was waiting, I noticed the lighting equipment that was on stage. I have photographed a number of concerts at Soundwell in the past but hadn’t seen lights and LED screens like these ones. At the back of the stage, 6 flat screen LED panels sat in three columns. The sides of the stage had multiple different strobe lights that I also hadn’t seen before. When Joan’s set began, the strobes flashed multiple split beams of light which was quite neat considering I’ve never seen it by Soundwell’s in-house lighting before. 

Joan began with “coffee shop” from their recent album to hype up the audience for their performance. During one of my favorite parts during their set, the LED screens in the back displayed multi-colored four-leaf clovers. The graphics paired well with Joan’s upbeat hit “Something Special” that they played at the beginning. Everyone knew the lyrics and sang along to the catchy tune. Throughout the show, Joan’s enthusiastic energy was contagious and got the crowd dancing to the beat of their top tracks like “backseat driving” and “so good.” After playing their 2019 single “Ease your mind,” Joan performed the crowd favorite “don’t wanna be your friend.” The atmosphere was electric as the crowd clamored around the front of the stage to dance to their favorite track.

The night became all the more special for listeners when Joan stopped the show to bring a fan on stage. As the audience cheered and applauded, the fan proposed to his girlfriend (she said yes). The crowd went even so far as chanting Jeremy, the fan’s, name following the proposal. Appropriately, Joan continued the set with “falling in love” and dedicated the song to the newly engaged couple–a truly heartwarming sentiment. 

Joan also visited a few more somber, deeper cuts from their discography like “monsters” and “loner.” The mix of uplifting indie and sad pop was a fun experience and highlighted Joan’s capability as musical artists. During these few songs, Joan dimmed the lights and calmed down the audience. The crowd swayed in awe as a few held their phone lights above their heads. As the concert came to a close, the energy picked back up in time for Joan to perform their final songs to round off the night.

Photo Credit: Logan Fang

Joan finished off with “Superglue” from their recent album and their 2017 single “love somebody like you.” Both songs got the crowd singing along. After their last number, Joan band members draped an arm around one another and bowed as the crowd applauded. It was a nice moment of unity between the band that tied together their wholesome performance. Joan and Harriette were both definitely crowd favorites and put on an amazing show on Soundwell’s stage. I look forward to returning soon!

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