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LIB recap: The Joy Formidable brings the noise

The Joy Formidable’s Ritzy Bryan brings her guitar down to the crowd during Sunday night’s Life Is Beautiful performance.
Photo: FilmMagic

If Life Is Beautiful lacked one thing at its inaugural edition, it was noise. You know, the kinds of gloriously edgy sounds Allen Stone, Vampire Weekend and Imagine Dragons don’t make. We’re talking fuzzy guitars and feedback, and maybe somebody with a voice that wouldn’t make it past the American Idol judges.

Sunday night at the Huntridge Stage, we finally got a taste of what we were missing in the form of Welsh trio The Joy Formidable. At Coachella or FYF, the band might come off poppy in comparison to other left-of-center acts on the bill (see: Grinderman, My Bloody Valentine, etc.), but at LIB, The Joy Formidable produced the kind of wicked racket I’d been yearning for all weekend.

Opening and closing with two of their best songs, “This Ladder Is Ours” and “Whirring,” respectively, singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan, bassist Rhydian Dafydd and drummer Matthew James Thomas rocked with intensity for their full 45 minutes, producing some of the festival’s most deafening jams in the process.

Here’s hoping LIB’s booking team saw—and more importantly, heard it—too, so that next year’s lineup might feature a few more gnarly musical weeds sprinkled among its pretty flowers.

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is Las Vegas Weekly's Managing Editor, having previously served as Arts & Entertainment Editor, Music Editor and a ...

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  • If the venue continues to book rising stars, it might just be the best place to see them before they get big.

  • There were loud sing-alongs and vigorous mosh pits throughout the night, but it was all still fueled by nostalgia.

  • The band, which turns Velvet Underground songs into pizza anthems, hits LVCS on November 16.

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