Reader of this site and magazine are likely very familiar with the sonic attack of The Joy Formidable, as head honcho Jack Rabid was a very early and vocal supporter of the band, even before they’d released anything on this side of the Atlantic. Because of this heads-up, I was fortunate enough to see them last year and correctly predicted that they would be playing much larger venues the next time they played here. I couldn’t have predicted that TD Garden would be that venue (opening for Foo Fighters) but the tonight’s show at The Paradise was sold out well in advance, and people were buzzing with the excitement of what this Welsh trio was about to do to their heads and hearts.
The band’s as tight as always, and they had a much more professional-looking stage set, complete with a lighthouse, lobster traps, and some of their own lighting. The stage set up of Rhydian Dafydd on the left, Ritzy Bryan in the middle and Matt Thomas with his kit set up stage left was intact, as was the dizzying array of pedals in front of both Dafydd and Bryan. I’m not sure how they can keep everything sorted in their head as to what triggers what, but I never caught any slip up.
Aside from the glorious din of standouts like “The Greatest Shade Is The Greatest Light” and “The Everchanging Spectrum Of A Lie,” they played a new song (“Endtables”) and a deep cut (“Greyhounds”) to the adoring crowd. And one thing that can’t be overstated is how much fun they are having on stage. Bryan’s constantly beaming, and prowling over every inch of the stage. Infectious fun, and the adoring crowd was an easy mark. Looking forward to their next record, as are a lot of people.
A Place To Bury Strangers is well-known for it’s total assault on the visual and aural senses, sending massive amounts of over-driven guitars and bass and blinding strobes to whatever hapless life forms are in the nearby vicinity. They’ve actually got some decent hooks and melody lines buried in the scree, if you squint your ears hard enough to hear them. Oliver Ackermann showed total disregard to his instruments all night, swinging, strangling, scraping and throwing them all about. It’s a wonder they are still functioning, and at the end of the show lay sprawled on the stage with some strings still intact. If guitars could assume a fetal position, we would have seen it happen.
Openers Exitmusic played a polite, reserved brand of music that could be located just a few doors down from Beach House but without the grand waterfront view.