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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Joyous Wolf / The Lonely Ones at Wally’s - Live Show Review By Nina McCarthy
Joyous Wolf / The Lonely Ones at Wally’s - Live Show Review By Nina McCarthy

Joyous Wolf / The Lonely Ones

Wally’s - Hampton, NH

October 28, 2021

Live Show Review

By Nina McCarthy

Boston Rock Radio



Some of my favorite bands have been discovered because I caught them as an opening act for another touring artist. Tonight I was happy to be introduced to Frame42 from Michigan, as they were on tour with Joyous Wolf, which is a band I first saw as the opening act for Fozzy about four years ago at this very venue in Hampton Beach, NH. Tonight they have returned for their “Fearless Tour” with special guests, The Lonely Ones and Frame42.


Walking into Wally's with my sidekick and BRR photographer, Dominique, we noticed the openers, who were about to take the stage, looked like a septet of teenagers. Afterwards, I in fact learned that they were all between the ages of 16-20; yes, a 16 year old drummer on tour living the dream! Don't let that age deceive you though, because onstage they musically performed beyond their years. That definitely shows good management, dedication, and perhaps a nod to Berklee, as two of the members were students, I learned.

Beautifully sharing the powerful lead vocal responsibilities, Ava Morris and Arianna Smith, along with the rest of the band, broke into "I'm a Wanted Man" and my attention was grasped. I enjoyed the energy, lyrics of their originals, and found myself wanting to get this band into rotation on Boston Rock Radio.  When they covered "Rolling 7s" by Dirty Honey, I was hooked. Plan to hear more in the future about this new generation that is keeping good ol' hard rock alive!

One of the main reasons I was at this show was for the supporting band, The Lonely Ones, formerly Bobaflex, but now without Shaun McCoy. I've followed these guys for years and was excited to see them for the second time since becoming The Lonely Ones in 2019. Last week, I was considering taking the 2.5 hour ride to see Joyous Wolf and when I saw that The Lonely Ones had been added on a few select dates, including this one on Thursday Oct 28th, I decided that I had to be there.

These southern gents took the stage in their rugged rock n roll attire, including drummer Tommy Johnson in his signature dark eyed makeup, and they tore into their June 2021 Imagen Record's single "Dyin' All Night Long."  I'm now up front belting out the lyrics with Marty McCoy and enjoying watching Jymmy Tolland vigorously wailing the strings on his bass. McCoy has the stance that he's there to give it to us hard and he leaves it all on-stage between his vocals and guitar playing, and gives us just what he intended.

Next up they took us back to their 2020 independent release of "Eternal Sadness," which is a purely alluring song that made me think of my current mourning situation with losing my mom. But, there is no time for sadness as I'm enjoying an astounding hard rock show that was so missed during the pandemic. We were introduced to a new song called "Time Bomb" which I believe hadn't been played out live much yet. Falling into the essence as the rest of their hits, Jake Early, far stage right and in the shadows, stepped up periodically for his splendent guitar solos. What also made The Lonely Ones an eyesome was the contrasting black and white themes. Marty sporting a black and white polka dotted (mostly unbuttoned) button down, alongside the white bass and boots of Tolland, with the black guitar of Early, and Johnson with his white drum heads and obverse lettering.

"Real Big Trouble" and "Change The Station" kept our heads bobbing and our hips shaking taking us to the reimagined coolest cover of Queen's "Flash - The Hero" that was highly praised by Brian May himself when the song was released. It was a treat to hear The Lonely Ones play this live!

Although sadly sprang from the Oxycontin epidemic in the south, "Gettin' High" is my favorite song The Lonely Ones have written, and it was now belting out from the Wally's stage. "Wayout" followed, leading to the final song, or should I say chant of the night, "I am the Lonely One…" as they reminded the crowd of who they were and left us no reason to forget!

Southern California's Joyous Wolf, out on the next stint of their first year with their “Fearless” headlining tour, were about to grace the stage. Unfortunately I was outside cooling off and missed Nick's entrance because it's usually a memorable one. The first time I saw them Reese came out doing forward and backward handsprings. Blake Allard (guitar), Greg Braccio (bass), and Robert Sodaro (drums) completed this mass of electrifying energy. This was my third time seeing Joyous Wolf and there is no comparison to any frontman in history that I can compare Reese to. He almost appears to be having epileptic seizures up there as his mind and body conform to the music.

"Juniper" and "Get Myself Right" get their set started. Marty McCoy is now at my side watching and equally amazed and he says something to me that made me sense a little envy. Nick is half your age, my dear Marty, and he certainly has an unnatural amount of energy! Everyone rocks differently and Joyous Wolf exhausts me just watching them.

Fan favorite "Quiet Heart" off The Places In Time album was next followed by the hottest new single, "Fearless" that currently holds the #5 spot on the Boston Rock Radio Top 25 for the second week in a row. I'd have to say it's definitely my choice song of the band's released singles. Catchy, empowering, and fun!

The full set list is below, but these young guys continued to hammer us until we were all dripping with sweat trying to keep up. Reese did his signature acrobatics, as he cleared a space in the center of the crowd, and sort of mixed handsprings and break dancing in the middle of the floor. Way to end the night!

Interestingly, talking to the guys offstage and previously interviewing them, they are soft spoken and humble. I think all their energy is left on that stage and recuperation mode sets in for the next 23 hours when they have to do it all over again.

I recommend checking all three of these bands out if you haven't already. Catch them live in a city near you. You can skip your calisthenics that morning because that heart rate will be pumping.



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