joan Concert Recap

Photos: Rebeca Posadas-Nava

The alt-pop band joan brought back nostalgic dance vibes in the Cambridge Room at the House Of Blues last Thursday. From Little Rock, Arkansas, the duo consists of Alan Thomas and Steven Rutherford. They took the large, and the possibly daunting task of playing to a passionate audience who waited hours outside the venue to the see main act, but this is a two person band who knows how to work the stage and the crowd.

A small banner with the group's name laid across the road cases behind their keyboards and drum set. Joan took the stage playing a mix of new, unreleased songs and about every tune from their debut EP portra. They chose to introduce the crowd to their modern twist on 80s and 90s pop sound by playing “tokyo”. Joan moved on to playing earnest new love songs back to back, hinting the release of fresh music sometime soon. “A lot of these songs are going to be completely new to most of you”, Thomas softly explained to the crowd as they continued to cheer and sing along to the lyrics.

“stop and stare”, an electrifying song that could have easily been apart of a John Hughes movie soundtrack, played shortly after. The band was starting to appeal to numerous individuals in the crowd, including a group of older gentlemen not afraid to dance along and declare, “This reminds me of something I would jam to back in the day!”

Joan took a moment to slow it down by playing “i loved you first”, which emphasized Thomas’ strikingly harmonizing vocals that took the crowd by surprise. But it was his guitar solo that left another lasting impression. Before doing so, he stood in the middle of the stage and asked the crowd, “Mind if I praise god real quick?”

The band closed out the night by playing “take me on” and their well-known song “love somebody like you”. By the time these last two songs were performed, the crowd had fallen for joan’s creative, musical charm. Their hands were up, as they jumped and danced around with each other. I think it’s safe to say the duo gained quite a few fans that night.


Take a listen to joan’s EP portra below, and check out our interview with joan right here.

Mariah Estran