LIVE: A Formidable Force Rocks The Hollow 12/7/2019


“Stop buying your coffees and go buy some records” says the sharp, energetic front-woman, Ritzy Bryan, of The Joy Formidable as they celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their debut EP, “A Balloon Called Moaning” at The Hollow December 7th.

Albany was one of the many stops for the Welsh Alternative-Rock group as they embark on a North American tour to promote a special anniversary edition of their debut album that features newly recorded tracks in their Welsh native language. They were joined by Boston born group, Twen, who possesses similar dream-pop qualities and a strong female lead.

The room was packed with cheering fans eager to revisit the vibrant songs that launched The Joy Formidable into the indie music spotlight a decade ago. While most artists save their crowd favorites for last, a punchy intro quickly recognizable as “Whirring” was unexpected early in the set. With over 10 million Spotify streams, this 6-minute masterpiece forced the audience to completely lose their cool and jump in unison. Ringing guitars combined with ethereal vocals and intense drum beats demonstrate how well this three-piece band can fill up a room.

The Joy Formidable is akin to floating on a storm cloud that could erupt at any moment. Powerful and edgy, yet rather dream-like. The band never missed a beat, even when their equipment attempted to get the best of them. Ritzy joked that a broken amp would be free at the merch table after the show. Her outspoken and hilarious stage banter effortlessly wrapped the crowd around her finger. After engaging in an elbow to elbow instrumental duel with bassist, Rhydian Dafydd, Ritzy laughed, “It’s been 10 years of us bumping into each other.” With their undeniable intensity and passion, it’s evident The Joy Formidable will be bumping into each other for many years to come.

Joy Formidable Photo Gallery by Claude Sawyer

TWEN Photo Gallery by Claude Sawyer

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