You Should’ve Seen Their Live Show: Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot sells out the Great American Music Hall
By Joseph Gregory

If a show sells out, there is probably a pretty good reason. In Ra Ra Riot’s case, that reason is obvious—they put on a good show. It’s hard to stand out in the indie scene; everyone has a few synths, a hip front man, and a couple catchy guitar lines, but not everyone can bring something new and interesting to the table. Ra Ra Riot does just that, and they put on a surprisingly modest show for a band that has released two hit records since their debut in 2008.

On stage, Ra Ra Riot is just as clean and clear as they are in the studio. If you crave that youthful, endearing, and infectiously melodic sound from their latest release, The Orchard (which was pressed by Record Pressing!) then I can assure you wont be disappointed live. In fact, you don’t even have to be a fan to enjoy watching the bass player have a rock induced seizure while Wes Miles jumps from guitar to keyboard mid chorus like it’s no big deal.

Ultimately, what makes Ra Ra Riot stand out among other big names in their genre is the classical texture that is coupled with their unique indie rock style. In a music scene that seems overwhelmingly electronic, it was refreshing to dance my face off and realize that for the past few songs I had been raging it to the violin and cello. There is just something wholesome about it, and yes, classical instruments can melt your face – Rebecca Zeller (violin) and Alexandra Lawn (cello) are living proof. Watching those two shred on traditional strings was without a doubt the peak of the evening.

All in all, I can’t say I have a single complaint about the entire night. If contagious indie dance grooves with a touch of authentic neo-classical style are your thing, then Ra Ra Riot is the perfect indulgence. Seriously, it’s the kind of show that doesn’t seem to end because after a fun, energetic set and an even more emphatic encore, the music remains stuck in your head for days to come.