Live Review: Joe Normal & The Anytown’rs at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon in Los Angeles, CA

Material: A well-balanced group of polished rockers, Joe Normal & The Anytown’rs infuse a classic British and old-school American rock sound with a vital new energy. With a driving blend of Tom Petty and the early Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and a sprinkle of Beck and The Presidents of the United States of America for an edgier flair, the band brings a new flavor to indie rock. From the upbeat swagger of “In the City Tonight” to the bouncing groove of “Nuthin’,” this group knows how to keep its audience moving.

Musicianship: The complementary talents and personalities of Joe Normal, Michael Lockwood, Tony Babylon and Tony Snow result in a solid stage presence and an easy confidence rarely found in today’s rock scene. “Living with Me,” which spotlights Lockwood’s pulsating guitar, is surprisingly danceable, and Snow is in his element with the intense drum rhythms in “Leaving Hollywood,” a cautionary tune relatable to every big city artistic dreamer. “Stuck in a Job” transmits a particularly Beatlesque vibe, both in its musicality and the universally relevant lyrics, and the performance featured Normal’s impressive guitar acrobatics and showmanship. Babylon rounded out the show with funky deep bass lines in the crowd-pleaser “The Beast Within.”

Performance: In their fifth in a string of performances following the release of their latest single, “Don’t Hurt Me,” Joe Normal & The Anytown’rs connected easily with the crowd, delivered refreshingly honest lyrics, and clearly embodied the messages contained in their songs. Normal enjoyed brief interludes with his audience, conveying hopeful messages for humanity while remaining faithful to his fun and memorable musical delivery. The volume of the music may have been too loud for the venue, but its quality was undeniable. Preambles to songs were concise, with the focus kept on the music and performance, leaving no time for the packed crowd to lose momentum—or the urge to dance along with each tune.

Summary: With their even musicality and tight, balanced Brit-rock sound, Joe Normal and his cheerful, hat-wearing comrades provide a lively, buoyant evening of straightforward, danceable music. The New Jersey singer clearly found his tribe when he moved to Los Angeles and teamed up with the Anytown’rs trio in 2016, and the group’s natural musical chemistry is infectious. The perfect evening out with friends looking to have a blast and raise the energy level of their own tribe.

Contact: joenormalusa@gmail.com
Web: joenormalusa.com
Players: Joe Normal, vocals, lead guitar; Michael Lockwood, lead guitar; Tony Babylon, bass; Tony Snow, drums, backing vocals