Written by Angel Park
For the second night in a row, Elliott City, MD-based singer/songwriter, Lindsey Jordan, (better known as Snail Mail), graced Philadelphia’s Union Transfer venue with a sold-out performance. These back-to-back shows marked the kickoff of the Valentine tour, curated to promote Jordan‘s most recent album of the same name.
Supported by local alternative group, Joy Again, Snail Mail‘s concert captivated both longtime and newer fans with what would be a jam-heavy, noise-pop-filled set that had the whole room smiling (and also – at least, if you were me – shedding a little tear of joy.)
Before performing in packed rooms across the states, Jordan established her roots as a musician as a teenager after finding a passion for playing the guitar at only eight years old. Her earliest released EP, Sticki, paved the way for her to perform her debut live show at Baltimore’s Unregistered Nurse festival. Her performance piqued the interest of post-punk headliner act Priest, and shortly after, Jordan signed to their label, Sister Polygon Records.
The following three years gave Jordan her first DIY tour and the subsequent EP releases of Habit and Lush. This sophomore release was met with critical acclaim from her growing fanbase, with singles such as “Thinning” being added to Pitchfork’s Best New Track series.
Fast track to 2022, and Valentine has long since won over fans and critics’ eagerly listening ears since its release in November of last year. The album serves as a critical turning point for Jordan as an artist; she evolved, sharpened her sound, and her maturity shone throughout all ten tracks on the release. Filled with revolving themes inspired by her journey with the stages of falling in love (and out), her music honestly speaks to the heart (no pun intended). Valentine engulfs listeners in a poignant state of emotional astuteness, a condition that definitely applied ever more so during the live experience of the album.
The clock finally ticks away to 8:00 PM, and the crowd mingles comfortably together as the five members of Joy Again finish tuning their instruments and take their starting places on stage. Singer Sachi DiSerafino kicked off the set with an enthusiastic “Whaddup Philly?” followed by an ecstatic compliment to one of the cheering front row crowd members.
“Yo, I see an OG’ Joy Again’ Shirt there, man,” he exclaimed, “I love it!”
The band’s act could be best described as a high-energy mix of blues and indie riffs. Their set bounced back and forth like a hyperactive kid, touching on their old, dance-worthy singles like “Kim,” a fun jazz improvisation session, and a crowd-rousing cover of Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy.” It was as chaotic as it was fun, and they made quite a point to hype up Snail Mail quite a bit before closing out their set.
In true Valentine-like fashion, the transition before Snail Mail‘s performance was marked by the stage crew displaying two enormous, marble-lined Cupid statues on either side of the stage. A hot white light shone across the backdrop, where the capital words ‘SNAIL MAIL‘ were displayed boldly in a capital font. The excited murmur of the crowd transformed into earsplitting cheers as Lindsey walked on stage, donned in her signature blouse and vest attire. She gives a quick greeting right before the opening chords of the self-titled single echo across the room. There isn’t a missed verse from the crowd, as they sing along, and the entire front row becomes a string of raised arms and phones, all grasping to capture the incredible experience.
“Thank you guys for being here for night two,” Lindsey quipped between her songs, “I’ve been sitting on my a– for three years cause of surgery plus the pandemic, so thank you all so much for making it out tonight.”
Aside from the catchy notes of Valentine, her set exceeded expectations with the live rendition of her more solemn-hitting acoustic tracks. Whatever setbacks she may have had due to vocal surgery dissipated, as she hit every high note in “Light Blue” and “Mia.” Even more impressive was her unexpected cover of Smashing Pumpkins‘ single, “Tonight, Tonight,” which fans enjoyed as a pleasant surprise to round out this top-tier show.
All in all, Joy Again and Snail Mail are definitely two indie acts that will be on the radar of listeners for years to come.
Don’t miss out on a show near you — listen and learn more about Joy Again and Snail Mail below.
Connect with Snail Mail
Connect with Joy Again