The Joy Formidable
U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, Summerfest, 10 p.m.
Jul. 4, 2012
It's fitting that The Joy Formidable's “Whirring” was the first video shown on MTV2's rebooted “120 Minutes” last year, since the song sounds like a great, lost relic from the original alt-nation era—if not an alternate reality where The Smashing Pumpkins never stopped making great music. Perhaps because of its invocations of an earlier, louder era of modern rock, the song became a decent-sized hit on contemporary alternative radio stations, calling deserved attention to one of last year's meatiest rock records: the Welsh trio's aptly titled The Big Roar. Produced by Rich Costey, who's overseen similarly massive records by the Foo Fighters and Muse, the album was one 50-minute-long head rush, led by singer Ritzy Bryan, whose sweet and wistful voice tempered the bite of her surging guitar work. The band has started working on an untitled follow-up album for possible release as early as this fall.