Mt. Joy, Rayland Baxter open Millennium Park free concert series
(Published June 12)
By Bob Oswald
Kicking off the Millennium Park Summer Music Series, indie rockers Mt. Joy are looking forward to the June 13 show at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
“It feels like we have played in Chicago as much as anywhere else in the country,” singer Matt Quinn said. “It is truly one of our favorite places in the world.”
The California band, with origins in Philadelphia, built up an online following after the release of the song “Astrovan.”
“We had an EP written and just felt good about ‘Astrovan’ so decided to throw it on Spotify first,” Quinn said. “It got added to a couple of playlists and performed really well and the whole thing kind of snowballed. It was surreal. It put us in a position to build out the band, quit our day jobs, tour and write.”
And then they hit the road.
“We have toured pretty continuously for the past two years,” he said.
“It has been an amazing experience. I think we have all grown so much as musicians, but I am probably most proud of how close we are as a group.”
Quinn said the constant travel takes a toll so it’s important to have a strong support system.
“It’s a crazy ride and it’s so much fun,” he said. “The highs are some of the best times of our lives, but there’s really no way to live like this without people taking care of each other.”
The group, made up of Quinn, his Philadelphia high school buddy Sam Cooper, Michael Byrnes, Sotiris Eliopoulos and Jackie Miclau, released their self-titled debut album last year.
“I’m proud of the first record,” Quinn said. “It was recorded extremely modestly and made a lot of beautiful things happen.”
But Quinn said there are parts of the album he would change.
“That’s where the live show becomes important,” he said. “A lot of the songs on the record are played pretty differently live, which keeps us sane.”
And Quinn is bringing that energy to the city.
“Every time we play [in Chicago] the shows are memorable,” he said. “It’s a city that cares deeply about music, and there’s obviously an amazing amount of history to support that.”
Also performing Thursday will be country singer and Nashville native Rayland Baxter.
The Millennium Park Summer Music Series lineup
All shows are free and begin at 6:30 p.m., according to City of Chicago.
Thursday, June 13
Monday, June 17
Cory Henry and the Funk Aposties
Liniker e os Caramelows
Monday, June 24
Chucho Valdes & Jazz Bata
Fareed Haque + Casseus
Thursday, June 27
Monday, July 1
Car Seat Headrest
Monday, July 8
Thursday, July 18
Orchestral Interpretations of J Dilla–Directed by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
Thursday, July 25
Los Amigos Invisibles
City of the Sun
Monday, July 29
Monday, Aug. 5
Love Love Love – Chicago Celebrates the Music of Donny Hathaway
Thursday, Aug. 15
Jupiter & Okwess
Noura Mint Seymali
For information, visit chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park9.html