Prior to tonight, the only time I saw Ra Ra Riot was from the back of a sweaty crowd during the 2008 Siren Music Festival (see a video I took). I got a much more intimate showing from the band at the always lovely/intimate Music Hall of Williamsburg. I doubt I could have seen them give a better showing.
It was a special event because it was the release show for new album Beta Love, as well as a special show that was to be live streamed for the world to see on youtube. The band came out and delivered a fiery set full of songs both new and old. The balance was pretty even, much to my delight.
With only a few listens to Beta Love under my belt, I’m not too in love with it. With that said, the new songs translated much better in the live environment. The crowd seemed to enjoy the new songs, although it was apparent that what they really wanted was the oldies.
You could sense a change in the crowds temperament when the band reached back and delivered “Too Too Too Fast”, “Can You Tell”, “Oh, La”, “Ghost Under Rocks”, and “Boy.” The band took a risk and covered U2’s “Two Hearts Beat As One” and they surprisingly nailed it. You wouldn’t normally put Ra Ra Riot and U2 cover band in the same sentence, but trust me, it worked.
To no surprise the grand royal was “Dying Is Fine.” It’s arguably the bands finest moment to date. It’s where the bands energy and the crowds reciprocation connected to form their own super-group. Hearing the song in such a magical moment caused a whole bunch of memories to come flooding back to me that were associated with that song years ago.
Ra Ra Riot are slowly changing their sound, and their band (no more of the lovely Alexandra Lawn). However, the core of what made them so adorned to us is still there ready for the taking.
Savoir Adore opened and wowed everyone in attendance, including myself. I am vaguely familiar with the Brooklym band, with a few tracks floating around my iTunes. But I need to make sure I gain their full catalog, as they are a killer live show. Dramatic loud electronic rock with a punch, they were an absolute treat live. They’re playing in Hoboken with Milo Greene on March 10. I just may have to take the train out there.
Below you can find photo galleries of both bands as well as the live stream of the show.
Ra Ra Riot: