Having seen them once before on their last tour in a relatively small church that doubled as a rock venue (!!!), it was fascinating to see their adaptability and growth as a band in a real rock club setting. Their songs and musical ability are a given. However, they upped their game by incorporating Rock Show elements like video projections and an omnipresent wolf logo whose lights changed colors.
Musicians and non-musicians alike have an obnoxious penchant to compare every band to some other band – “Oh, so-and-so sound just like (fill in the blank)…” From the band’s perspective this can be complimentary, derogatory, or sometimes just plain baffling. Compliment or not, it’s often unfair to the band because it ignores the amount of personal creativity and work that went into producing the music, and reduces it to a comparison. I make this admission as a disclaimer because I’m about to do exactly what I just got done railing…The Joy Formidable are reminiscent of Smashing Pumpkins at their best…and what Sonic Youth tried to sound like (but never could). I say it as a supreme compliment.
9:30 Club, Washington, DC, Set List