TVD Live Shots:
The Joy Formidable
with Twen at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 11/29

The Joy Formidable made a stop at Washington, DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel on Black Friday, giving fans respite from the Thanksgiving holiday and oncoming Christmas onslaught. Celebrating ten years together, they treated VIPs to a short acoustic set prior to doors opening before filling the RnR Hotel with tight indie rock.

The Joy Formidable (Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Daffyd, and Matt Thomas) are playing their entire album A Balloon Called Moaning (plus a few more from their catalogue) as a celebration of hitting ten years together. The fans, crammed into the RnR Hotel’s dark snug room, were ecstatic; one yelling appreciation to Thomas as he took the stage and many singing along with Bryan.

The band appeared to be in good humor and a celebratory mood as well, appearing delighted to play their old songs. Bryan stopped to thank a young boy (age ten or so) for being in attendance and Daffyd even took it in stride when an on-stage encounter with Bryan ended with a cut to the forehead, blood trickling down his nose. Thomas for his part pounded the drums like a sledgehammer; I was situated next to his drum kit and could feel the blasts of air moved by his high hat.

Openers Ian Jones and Jane Fitzsimmons of Twen took the stage quoting what they allegedly overheard people in the crowd say before their set, something to the effect of “Who is this band?” and “I’ve never heard of them,” before admonishing the crowd to stay hydrated and stretch. It was an odd way to introduce themselves but, to be fair, the audience could be forgiven if they weren’t familiar with Twen; the Nashville based band recently released their first album, Awestruck, to mixed reviews after touring relentlessly for the last two years.

Their sound is described as shoegaze or a mash-up of psych rock and dream pop, a sound underscored by the ever-writhing Fitzsimmons’ breathy delivery. The crowd at Rock and Roll Hotel was introduced to the bass player, Allie, who was making her debut with the band that night; indeed, Twen are a work in progress.

The Joy Formidable finish up their tour on December 21 in Los Angeles, CA.


The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade
While the Flies
The Last Drop
Y Bluen Eira
I Don’t Want to See You Like This
The Leopard + The Lung
Caught on a Breeze

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