Although this is the first gig review since the failed Battles concert, i have actually attended one other gig since then: Soundgarden at the Bill Graham Civic Center. Opening band: the Mars Volta, who were far better and tighter than i expected, and played stuff from an upcoming release (it's probably out by now, i should look for it...). Soundgarden sounded like they'd barely missed a step; it was fantastic to hear Kim Thayil shredding again (even though, for some goddamn reason, the sound guy screwed us all by mixing Kim in at a very low volume). Chris Cornell couldn't quite belt it out as before, but it wasn't much of a loss. Matt Cameron was the usual pro's pro behind the kit, and Ben Shepherd was flat-out nuts, torturing amazing sounds out of his bass. Short summary: fucking awesome.
Back to TJF: i hadn't secured a ticket for last week's show, which later sold out; luckily, lammah had bought tickets for both Monday and Tuesday, but then decided he didn't want to go to both shows, so i got to pick up the slack. I ate at Tsunami (good but overpriced, except for a fantastic cocktail called The Cloister, of which i had two) with one of Sam's friends and his cousin, then walked two blocks to the Independent. The two opening bands were Big Black Delta, who had some songs with potential, and a good drummer with style, but an annoying frontman; and A Place to Bury Strangers, who were technically adept but whose songs were dull, and the guitarist (who looked like Nicolas Cage in "Raising Arizona") and drummer looked like they hadn't showered all year.
The Joy Formidable was everything i'd hoped they'd be, with two tiny and one small complaints: the setlist shows that they neglected to play "Chapter 2", and also that they fake-ended their set after a mere 9 tracks, which is pretty damn horseshit in my book for the main attraction. But they know they can get away with it because the music's so good, they have so much damn fun on the stage, and look genuinely happy to be playing in front of the crowd and with each other (and unlike APtBS, are all so handsome and well-dressed). They were augmented by a harpist named Stephanie on "Llaw = Wall" and "Whirring", and that worked out pretty damn well. I look forward to a subsequent tour after they have another album under their belt, so the set isn't so short.