Friday, November 12, 2010

The Joy Formidable - Black Cat

I'm not exactly sure I'm up for this post....its been a shit day and my eyes are burning from exhaustion. But I also know that if I don't get this down now, I'll probably blow it off and give up.

As recently as yesterday, I was pretty certain that i wouldn't be doing a year-end "Best Shows of 2010" post because I just didn't get off the damned couch to see ten shows worth writing about.

But, at the very minimum, as of midnight this morning I had a very serious contender for the show of the year. Because the Joy Formidable bowled me the fuck over last night.

Now, there was a time about eight or ten years ago or whatever, when I used to see bands all the time that I thought were just poised to break out. (I miss you, the Put-Outs.....and the Hissyfits, too. And Emm Gryner. You, too, Jamie Block!). But I've never been as certain as I was last night.

Playing before a crowded (but not quite packed) back stage of the Black Cat, the Joy Formidable accomplished the astounding feat of not only replicating live, but totally enhancing an already electrically lush-sounding catalog. From the majestic "The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade" to the rapturous "Last Drop", I was pretty must gobsmacked all night...taken in not only by the music, but also the command of the stage from diminutive Ritzy Brian, who seems to have taken her cues in equal parts from Chrissie Hynde and Bowie-era Mick Ronson.

(In particular, her aggressive, stomp-and-pace style of guitar playing reminded me completely of Ronson's performance in D.A. Pennebaker's "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" concert film. Meanwhile, it reminded my pal, Dan, of Joan Jett's infamous "Pussy To The Wood" approach to guitar playing).

And that's as good as its going to get tonight.

Kudos to the Joy formidable, for reminding me why I go out to see live music...