On Wednesday night, I had the great opportunity to see The Joy Formidable play at Double Door in Chicago (for free I might add). Not only did the band live up to their incredibly experienced career opening for bands like Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, and even Sir Paul McCartney, but their confidence and skill was definitely displayed and surprised even the biggest of fans at the show. Not to mention the show seemed almost never ending as the band added additional solos and jam sessions as well as a 4 song encore.
Performing before The Joy Formidable was Everything Everything, a band from Northumberland, Kent and Guernsey that currently resides in Manchester. Everything Everything are an English indie rock band that formed in late 2007. They played with spunk and with what some might call “pizazz.” I hate that I just wrote that. However, I am leaving it in because it does actually apply here. They played songs off of their newest album Get To Heaven (2015) and of course a couple of their hits like ‘Cough, Cough’ and ‘Don’t Try’ off of Arc (2013).
After Everything Everything warmed up the place, and left us super pumped to say the least, The Joy Formidable entered with a bang. The first song played was The Greatest Light Is the Greatest Shade and it was a perfect opener for the fans as this was off their album The Big Roar (2011).
The Joy Formidable is a Welsh alternative rock band that formed in 2007. The band consists of band members Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd and Matthew James Thomas. Ritzy showed off her attitude with every song and was not shy to say, ‘fuck that’ a few times throughout the show when telling us, “We shouldn’t play this song, but fuck it!”
Along with the ever-so-sweet ‘fuck that’ and ‘fuck it’ from Ritzy, there was an ongoing joke throughout the show by drummer James Thomas…
“Shall we play another song, then? Shall we?” He’d ask ever-so-politely. Of course the crowd screamed, ‘YES.’
The setlist of the show featured quite a few songs from their earlier albums entitled The Big Roar (2011) and Wolf’s Law (2013). This show, however, was to promote their new album released this year entitled Hitch (2016). The new songs, which Ritzy announced, left us with no socks as The Joy Formidable had blown them off (cheesy, yet accurate). After the first song off their new album was played, a not-so-sober-guy behind me repeated several times to his friend, “Shit, that was good. Shit, that was GOOD.”
To top off the night, Ritzy and Rhydian came into the crowd for the first encore of ‘The Brook’ off of Hitch (2016). They played an acoustic version of this song in the middle of the crowd and left us in absolute awe. We were left breathless, but not too breathless to cheer and practically beg for more. They proceeded to play three more songs before calling it a night.
“Shall we play another song, then? Shall we?”
I highly recommend seeing The Joy Formidable live if you are ever given the chance. They are currently on tour now and you can find their tour dates and locations here. Also, check out their older albums on Spotify or iTunes, and their new album Hitch is available on their website and available via Spotify and iTunes, as well.