By Emma Penny
The trio of sisters that makes up the band Joseph filled the Charleston Music Hall on October 1st with their powerful vocals and captivating harmonies for an intimate Sunday night.
The concert opened with Liza Anne, a singer-songwriter from Saint Simons Island, Georgia, now based in Nashville. She says on her Facebook page, “I feel things deeply and then I sing them sweetly” and there is nothing closer to the truth. Liza Anne’s voice was soft yet haunting as she sang about very specific yet oddly relatable situations. Her lyrics included instances of drunk calling an ex and saying you still love them, or saying things you don’t mean when you’re too tired; providing a comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one who’s done that. Her stage presence was unapologetic, as she even preceded one song by recalling a grade of a D+ in her college songwriting class. Liza Anne was the perfect act to open the night and warm up the crowd.
Next, Joseph took the stage, immediately showcasing their energy and skill that was maintained at the same high level throughout the set. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Joseph is a family band made up of older sister Natalie, and twins Meegan and Alison Closner. From their appearance, movements, and especially their voices, there’s no mistaking their relation. Natalie sported an acoustic guitar as she sang lead vocals on about half the songs, while with Meegan and Alison sang backup, with the occasional tambourine. The leads were passed around, allowing each sibling to showcase her prevailing voice while the other two provided compelling harmonies. Joseph was backed by drums, bass, electric guitar, and keys played by their “tour brothers.”
The set was full of dancing and clapping during faster songs, and moments of stillness and awe during slower ballads, as the Closner sisters amazed the audience throughout with their harmonies that gave me goosebumps more than once. About halfway through, the audience got to their feet with the song “SOS (Overboard)” and remained standing for the rest of the show.
Joseph’s sincere lyrics spanning themes of self-love, standing up for what you believe in, and reassurance no one is alone, made for an uplifting concert. It’s a mentality that’s evident in their stage presence, and even their 2016 album name, I’m Alone, No You’re Not, which is a lyric from the song “Honest.”
The band ended their set (before a 3 song encore) with the anthem “White Flag,” their lead single from the Alone album. The song starts as a low hum and builds to a chorus proclaiming “I could surrender but I’d just be pretending, no, I’d rather be dead than live a lie. Burn the white flag!”
After a galvanizing concert, Joseph sent us off with a song called “Sweet Dreams” inspired by their childhood bedtime routine of saying goodnight. We left the Music Hall with a revitalized spirit and the words of “Sweet dream, my love. I love you. Goodnight.” ringing in our ears.