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All photos by Jayson Yee

Believe it or not, it’s been a decade since Ra Ra Riot came storming out of Syracuse University with their debut EP in 2007, collecting a ton of blog buzz and attention along the way.

A lot has changed for the band since then, but they’ve had a nice consistent career, releasing four albums with Barsuk Records and going on to tour all across the globe.

This year they released the EP for the first time on vinyl as a special Record Store Day release and celebrated it further with a sold out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 22 (the same day as RSD) that was a part of a string of shows they did to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the EP.
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Ra Ra Riot at Webster Hall (March 4, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 5th 2016

1_Ra Ra Riot_Webster Hall

All photos by Emily Lembo

The always reliable indie rock group Ra Ra Riot returned to New York for the first time since their intimate showing at Baby’s All Right last November. That show served as a test for new material, which would later end up on their new album Need Your Light, which was released this February via Barsuk Records.

They shared more of this material when they made their return to New York for a sold out performance at the larger Webster Hall on March 4. Our photographer Emily Lembo was on hand to capture some photos of their performance, along with Baltimore group Sun Club, who opened the show.

Find photos of both bands posted below.
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Preview: Ra Ra Riot at Webster Hall This Friday

By Will Oliver, March 2nd 2016

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot make their return to New York this Friday night, taking the stage at Webster Hall. The show is in support of their new album Need Your Light, which was recently released via Barsuk Records.

The new material goes over even better live, as evident to their performance at Baby’s All Right last November, where they shared a few Need Your Light offerings. The group always offer a tight performance live and I’m sure this performance will be no different.

Add opening performances from both Sun Club and PWR BTTM and you got a great bill that will get your weekend started off right.

Tickets for the show are currently still on sale.
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Ra Ra Riot at Baby’s All Right (November 3, 2015)

By Will Oliver, February 27th 2016 — with 1 comment

1_Ra Ra Riot_Baby's All Right

Last November Syracuse, New York rockers Ra Ra Riot embarked on a mini-tour full of small venues that allowed them to test some new material. Their New York show came on November 3 at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg. The songs ended up being off of new album Need Your Light, which was released last Friday via Barsuk Records.

Getting to see Ra Ra Riot perform up close and personal at a venue like Baby’s All Right was a real treat. They will be headlining the larger Webster Hall this Friday, March 4, so this was a rare chance to get to see them in a super tiny club, and it didn’t disappoint. They surprisingly dabbled light with the new material, only playing a couple of songs that would be on the new record. Instead they stuck to crowd favorite such as “Can You Tell,” “Oh, La,” “Ghost Under Rocks,” and “Boy.” There was even a sly cover of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Run Away With Me” thrown in there.

I’m excited to see what they have up their sleeves for the Webster Hall performance this week. For now, enjoy some photos of the Baby’s All Right performance posted below, along with the setlist:
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Ra Ra Riot at Escape Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 20th 2014

1_Ra Ra Riot_Escape

Ra Ra Riot were the first band I caught at the inaugural Escape Music Festival, which went down at The Governors Beach Club.

Although the weather was less than ideal, Ra Ra Riot warmed us up with a great set that kicked things off in style. I saw them play last year at Music Hall of Williamsburg where they delighted with both new songs off 2013 album Beta Love, as well as old favorites. This time around it was more old favorites than Beta Love cuts, which was fine with me. It’s always great to hear material such as “Too Too Too Fast” and “Dying Is Fine.” They also kept the mean cover of U2’s “Two Hearts Beat As One,” which they’ve quite perfected by now.

Find a photo gallery of their performance posted below.
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Ra Ra Riot @ The Music Hall of Williamsburg (Janury 22, 2012)

By Will Oliver, January 23rd 2013 — with 1 comment

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:

Savoir Adore:

[new]: Ra Ra Riot – Dance With Me

By Will Oliver, January 9th 2013


Ra Ra Riot are really embracing a new lighter/dancier sound on new album Beta Love. It’s a shiny upbeat track whose fun energy is hard to ignore.

Could sort of see these guys touring with POP ETC with the way their new stuff is sounding.

Beta Love comes out January 22 via Barsuk Records.

Ra Ra Riot – When I Dream

By Will Oliver, December 17th 2012

Ra Ra Riot - When I Dream

Ra Ra Riot’s new sound caught me off guard when they premiered “Beta Love” the title track of their new album. It showed the new-found direction that the band had found. The song has grown on me a little since, but I’m not enamored by any means.

“When I Dream” is the latest cut to emerge from the album, and it’s a good mix of a raw r&b sound mixed in with their sound of old. It’s a more assuring combination that has me feeling a bit more warmly about the new album.

Beta Love comes out January 22 via Barsuk Records.

[new]: Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love

By Will Oliver, November 13th 2012 — with 1 comment

Ra Ra Riot are back with a new album titled Beta Love this January 22 via Barsuk Records. Today they premiered the first cut from the album, the electronic-heavy title track.

Right from the get-go, you will get a sense that something is different. With core-member, and cellist, Alexandra Lawn gone, I could have guessed this. But it wasn’t until my first listen to the song that my beliefs were confirmed.

Synth’s dominate the forces of “Beta Love”, with Wes Miles’ vocals even sounding close to something of high pitched electronics. Some people may see a connection to the direction that POP ETC went from The Morning Benders. While Ra Ra Riot is still their name, their new sound is much different than most will come to expect.

I suspect that “Beta Love” will cause polarizing results for listeners. Even I don’t know how I feel about it yet.

[mp3]: Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love

Ra Ra Riot Announce New Album: Beta Love

By Will Oliver, October 23rd 2012 — with 2 comments

On January 22, Ra Ra Riot will release a new album titled Beta Lova on Barsuk Records. It’s the band’s 3rd album, and their first as a 4-piece, as Alexandra Lawn is no longer a part of the band.

The album sessions took place at Sweet Tea Studios in Oxford, Mississippi, marking the first time the band recorded in a warm climate. They tried new approaches, going into the studio and letting the magic brew while there. It will be interesting to see how their sound has developed with new recording members and more refined lineup.

The band will play New York City’s Webster Hall on January 25. Find the tracklist for Beta Love below.
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