Moriah Formica and Joan Jett
#MoriahFormica #Music #Summer #Concerts #KaitlinLembo #TheSpot518
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the correct times of Formica’s performances on Sept. 1.
LATHAM — Moriah Formica isn’t afraid of running down her dream, even if it means boarding a bus with her band and family and traveling halfway across the country.
Just over two weeks ago, Formica arguably had two of the biggest moments in her highly successful career thus far. Formica’s band traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Moorhead, Minnesota on Aug. 8 and 9, respectively, to perform with some of her biggest idols, Joan Jett and Halestorm.
“This has been everything that I’ve ever wanted,” the recent high school graduate gushed. “I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this has been. There are no words.”
She added that having one of her biggest dreams recognized was an “incredibly humbling experience.”
“These are some amazing people,” she explained. “To play with Joan Jett and get to talk to her was incredible, and Lzzy Hale [Halestorm’s lead singer] is one of my biggest idols.”
A particularly humbling moment for Formica was during Halestorm’s set, when Hale was speaking to the audience. Hale asked the audience what would have happened if Jett had given up on music; it forced the young rock star to think about the ramifications of the now impossibility.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this,” Formica said. “Joan Jett has paved the way for female rockers like myself. It’s a large part due to her that people like me can have a career and find our place in this industry.”
Formica and her band, along with her younger brother, Gabe, were able to hang out with the members of Halestorm after the show, where they made s’mores and had a bonfire. The young rockers all got along really well and found a deep connection in the otherwise crazy night.
Opening for two major acts earlier this month is just the tip of Formica’s busy summer. After her high school graduation in June, she and her family had about a week off before they strapped up for a full summer of gigs.
“We’ve been so busy as a family,” Josh Formica, Moriah’s father and manager, said. “We’re tired, but I’ve never been so happy to be tired. She’s living her dream.
“She’s definitely made an influence,” he added.
The summer kicked off with a jam-packed performance at Troy’s Rockin’ on the River on June 6, with an electric, soulful opening from local musician Margo Macero. The show was the first of the Rockin’ season. Formica performed her entire catalogue of music from her original EP, “Bring It On,” as well as covers. She also performed her newest single, an empowerment anthem called “I Will,” to the excited crowd.
“Over this summer, I’ve learned to interact with the audience more,” she said. “I like to tell personal stories, make jokes and dance.
“I don’t care how stupid people think I look,” she continued. “When I’m with my guitar, I like to move my body however it wants to naturally move.”
Formica also performed at Empire State Plaza for the July 4 celebration — with SmashMouth — and has headlined concerts at local venues including Freedom Park and Clifton Commons.
“My band and I have gotten so much closer in all of this,” she said. “We have such a tight bond.”
She’s also seeking perfection more than ever before, with the band striving to achieve even more energy during shows.
“We don’t settle for something now,” she explained. “There’s this need to make it better, make it over the top compared to what we used to do.
“I just need that last little push to make everything explode more than it already has,” she continued.
Formica has several shows scheduled for September, adding she’s “performing pretty much each weekend.”
The band is scheduled to play the main stage at the New York State Fair in Syracuse on Aug. 29. It will also make two appearances at the Schaghticoke Fair on Sept. 1, with a show at 4 p.m. and another at 7:30 p.m. After the local love, the four-piece is packing it up and heading to Connecticut on Sept. 8 for the Norwalk Oyster Festival, and Massachusetts on Sept. 29 to perform with Janet Gardner, member of ‘80s hard-rock girl band Vixen. Formica added there are some exciting shows that have not been announced yet.
As she sees the country, Formica is still looking to pin down her perfect sound.
“I don’t want to be someone else,” she explained. “I don’t want to be Joan Jett or Lzzy Hale or anyone else. I want to be me. I want to be Moriah Formica and use all of my inspirations as guideposts for what makes me uniquely me.
“Songs become hits for being different,” she added. “I want to continue bringing rock back to the mainstream, but I’m going to do it as me.”