The Most Surreal Moment at Bumbershoot

The Joy Formidable is in the middle of its set when the drum mics blow out.

Lead singer Ritzy Bryan starts berating the drummer for always seeming to have something “explode” at their shows. She tells everyone that the band is going to go backstage to have a drink while the crew fixes whatever the problem is.

A good amount of time passes and The Joy Formidable still haven’t come back out. Chatter begins to overtake the crowd. At first, it’s just some confusion and measured skepticism. Things like, “Wait, what happened?” and “Do you think they build this into the set so they can get trashed backstage?”

After a pregnant pause in the babble around me, a conversation starts up between two friends.

“I thought this was The Joy Division,” one friend says.

“No, no it’s not Joy Division,” the other friend replies.

“But everyone in Portland has those The Joy Division shirts with the mountains on it. All everybody talks about in Portland is The Joy Division and Skrillex. I was excited to see The Joy Division but this band is different.”

Then the crowd started chanting “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

 
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