Rock & Pop

The Joy Formidable

When: Mon., March 12, 8 p.m. and Tue., March 13, 8 p.m. 2012

Modern American bands may feel too self-conscious to play something as gratuitous as arena rock these days, but fans, apparently, still itch to hear it. Which may explain the meteoric rise of The Joy Formidable, whose members hail from the expansive, rolling-hills landscape of North Wales. The trio -- guitarist/singer Ritzy Bryan, bassist Rhydian Dafydd, and drummer Matt Thomas (apparently a metal head) -- sounds unapologetically nostalgic for the Nineties: guitars turned to eleven; drums big and spacey; bass fuzzed-out; vocals pronounced and anthemic. It's a recipe that earned the band's propulsive debut album, The Big Roar, released by Atlantic Records, heaps of praise. But it's the band's live show that's said to be truly electrifying. The trio is currently selling out mid-size venues across the country; it may not be playing arenas yet, but it sounds like it could. At the Independent (628 Divisadero St., San Francisco) on Monday and Tuesday, March 12-13, with A Place to Bury Strangers. 8 p.m., $20.

Kathleen Richards

Price: $20

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