SXSW: the Joy Formidable

One would not expect that a girl as small and cute as the Joy Formidable’s Rhiannon Bryan would be able to rock as hard as she did last night at the Say Media Party at the Speakeasy. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting from the Joy Formidable, but they delivered one of the tightest, most intense performances I’ve ever seen. Song after song seemed to die down and come to a close, only to be revived in a flurry of cymbals and catchy guitar melodies that got the audience more amped than any that I’ve seen. What impressed me the most about the Joy Formidable wasn’t the energy they exuded or that both the bassist and guitarist boldly pounded on the drum kit’s cymbals with their fists; the unbelievable chemistry between the three members of the Joy Formidable was simply inspiring to see. They were all perfectly in sync with each other, they fed off of each other’s energy and they were having a great time not just performing, but performing with each other. After opening with a slew of loud, harder songs, they gave themselves and the audience a much-needed break with a sweet acoustic track called, “Silent Treatment.” After the song ended, they brought the energy right back with a rousing drum fill that later joined the bass and electric guitar to created the deafening, energetic symphony of distortion that we had become accustomed to.The Joy Formidable are great performers and anyone at SXSW should definitely go check out one of their live shows. They don’t disappoint.

Post by Kyle Henson. His DJ show “The Roots of Pop” airs Sundays at 6 p.m.