The Joy Formidable to appear at the Englert


The Joy Formidable promises a powerful, passionate performance today at the Englert.

By Alex Kramer

Lyrically driven and with a recent social stance on the objectification of women in the media, live-wire band Joy Formidable is here to make an impact. The group will play at the Englert, 221 E. Washington St., at 7 p.m. today as part of the Mission Creek Festival.

Hailing from Wales, the band has been active since 2007, and it appears to not have stopped moving since then, having just released its third full-length studio album, Hitch, on March 25 while on its headlining tour.

Bassist Rhydian Dafydd said everybody can and will take something different from the record.

“With anything written by us, we enjoy the process of making it,” he said. “I think writing is a very different thing. It can be really exhausting, and doing this album was exhausting. We wrote a hell of a lot of music, but [we were] happily exhausted. It was just a really fruitful period.”

The band is known for putting on killer live shows, and Dafydd attempted to lay out the band’s secret formula.

“Live, we’ve never felt restricted by ‘Oh, we’ve got to make the live feel exactly like the record,’ ” he said. “No, in fact it’s actually probably good to be a little bit different than it. You’re never quite sure what you’re getting from the live experience. I think it serves its own respects in that way, it’s its own discipline. It’s more about being in the moment, for us, and that’s a great thing; that’s quite a rare thing these days.”

Aly High, the English marketing director, said the band’s ability to put on such a great show should draw people.

“They’ve filled arenas touring with bands like the Foo Fighters and Muse, so it will be a treat to see them in a smaller, more intimate setting,” she said.

The performance is drawing people far and wide; Zach Wilson, a freshman from Illinois State University will make the journey so see the band live.

“Whenever I watch them on TV or YouTube, everyone in the crowd is going wild, and I really hope I get to see that a little bit on Thursday night,” he said. “This is my first time seeing them, and I wasn’t going to miss it for the world.”

Wilson said he loves the group’s interesting style, pulling elements of alternative, indie, and shoegaze, as well as its loud-quiet-loud format made famous by bands such as the Pixies.

“They have some moments where they sound like an orchestra of people despite the fact that there’s only three of them up there on stage, which is so rare,” he said.”

The band’s sound is very lyrically focused, Rafydd said; the musicians aren’t about just doing loud music. He said there are many different bands that showed him personally how powerful music can be and provided a gateway to all kinds of music.

“It all comes down to basically feeling the soul and the passion in the lyrics,” he said. “You want each [record] to have its own flavor — you’re not expecting the same thing every time.”

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