The Joy Formidable in The Wilderness Downtown



A tent, a blanket of leaves, the sound of a crackling fire and nature buzzing in the background. No, we weren’t in the woods, we were actually at Lincoln Hall in the middle of the city! As part of The Joy Formidable’s semi-acoustic tour, they brought the woods to us.

Lincoln Hall was totally transformed Monday night. Not only did the stage look different, but chairs had been placed in the GA section to create a more comfortable and cozy atmosphere. The trio that makes up The Joy Formidable (Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd, and Matthew Thomas) took the stage and treated fans to a night of hilarious banter and beautiful, crisp acoustic versions of their most beloved songs as well as a few covers.

The band created a very open and relaxed atmosphere in the venue where fans could talk to the band between songs, or even heckle them, as the band happily suggested. Fans asked questions, the band told stories, and everyone had a great time.img_0110

Commenting on the political situations in both their home country and the United States, the band expressed their hopes that in spite of all the uncertainty and turmoil, the situation would unite people of all backgrounds under a common cause. Whether it be new music or art, or simply conversation between us, they fully believe that something good will come from the current chaos.

The band played about 15 songs, including 3 covers, before calling it a night. Of the songs from their own catalogue, around half came from their 2011 album The Big Roar. The stripped down versions of the songs sounded crisp and pure, and the raw vocals were unmasked by the music behind them. My favorite cover of the night was of Elvis Costello’s “Lip Service.” Adding a personal connection, Ritzy told fans that Elvis Costello was her first concert and that she was only 7 years old at the time. What a great inauguration to live music! The night was incredibly unique and one I won’t soon forget.


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