Posts Tagged ‘The Joy Formidable’

The Joy Formidable @ St. Stephen’s Church

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

The Joy Formidable

I try not to ever pass up an opportunity to shoot The Joy Formidable, whose band name is a pretty accurate description of how they approach their live show. This fall, they did a mini-tour of the US, playing only small nontraditional venues rather than the big clubs they’ve recently graduated to. In DC, that meant they played a fairly intimate benefit show at St. Stephen’s Church – fun to be a part of but very challenging to photograph.

There were basically no lights aside from what the band brought with them, so none of these shots can compare to what I got from the last time I saw them. At the end of the set, Ritzy Bryan jumped into the crowd right next to me, played for a second, tossed her guitar back onto the stage, gave a random fan a hug, and stalked off backstage to the close the show. I had the wrong lens on and no flash, so I didn’t capture any of that. Frustratingly, I might never get to shoot a whole set of this band again, since they’ll be playing clubs that enforce a 3-song rule – so that might have been my last chance to capture the inevitable end-of-show mayhem that has become their trademark. Oh well.

Here are just a couple highlights; for more, see the full set at Flickr. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with my work.

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

For more, see the full set at Flickr. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with my work.

The Joy Formidable at Fine Line Music Café

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

The Joy Formidable

One of my favorite shows of last year was The Joy Formidable‘s set at 7th Street Entry. I knew exactly what to expect this time around, and the band’s setlist hasn’t changed too much from a year ago (their new album is forthcoming, but only one song from this show was drawn from it), but they nevertheless didn’t disappoint. As a bonus, Fine Line Music Café has exponentially better lighting than the Entry, although it was still a relatively challenging show to shoot. Much like last year, I had a hard time pointing my lens at anything but Ritzy Bryan, which is reflected in the selection of favorite shots below.

Many more photos from the show, including some of the excellent openers Exitmusic and A Place to Bury Strangers, are on Flickr here. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook to keep up with my work!

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

Many more shots here.

The Formidable Joy Formidable

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

The Joy Formidable

Most of the time when I shoot a band, I focus on the frontperson but try not to neglect the rest of the band – my shots tend to be distributed reasonably evenly amongst the band members (drummers excepted, but usually for pragmatic reasons – impossible to get a good angle, or no light to speak of). Some bands, though, have such a charismatic frontman or frontwoman that it’s basically impossible to tear the lens away from them. The Sounds come to mind. Add The Joy Formidable and their guitarist/vocalist Ritzy Bryan to that list.

The Joy Formidable

The Welsh trio put on a hugely entertaining show at 7th Street Entry last night; if it wasn’t sold-out, it was close, and I’d be shocked if they weren’t filling up much larger venues on their next U.S. tour. Catchy, slightly noisy indie-rock performed by very good musicians, with a frontwoman who’s simply impossible not to love? This band is going places. What’s more, they wrapped up their closing number, “Whirring,” with Ritzy Bryan slamming through a guitar freakout that probably rivaled whatever Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple pulled off at the Entry the night before (I missed that show, sadly).

[AWESOME ADDENDUM: Fellow photog Stacy Ann Schwartz has posted a video of last night’s performance of “Whirring” in its entirety.]

Here are a few of my favorite shots of the band (er, or at least of Bryan). The final shot was the very end of the show, when Bryan literally slammed her guitar down onto the floor at the end of the “Whirring” guitar-pocalypse.

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

The Joy Formidable

Full set at Flickr.