Review: Ra Ra Riot at Easy Street Records, Sept. 6, 2010

Written by

Ra Ra Riot – Oh, La

“Want to go to a free Ra Ra Riot concert Monday?” I texted.

“Who/what is a ra ra riot?” Ron, my brother’s friend, texted back.

“It’s a band. They play music. With instruments.” I’m a goddam riot alright. “Check YouTube to see if you’d like them.”

“Sounds indieish but not half bad. I’m down.”

“It’s at 7 in Queen Anne. Swing by my place at 6 for a drink before we head out.”

So Ron, some 6’4 future Marine, showed up at my place at 6:00 p.m. and we chugged Jack and Cokes and alit. In between the rows of CDs and vinyl at Easy Street Records about 125 people filled in. Ron and I stood behind the electronic section; I noticed some band called O O O.

Ra Ra Riot started promptly and played 20 minutes, even adding an extra song, or so the singer claimed, because we were “rowdy”.

The crowd was pretty subdued. But so was Ra Ra Riot. Without a drummer, the music lost its bite. Instead, fresh-faced youngsters fretted and bowed and plucked along on instruments merrily, sappily.

Maybe it was the high density of high schoolers at the show, including three girls standing next to us who giggled and ‘omigawd’ed their way through the show, but the band reminded me of high school. The violinist was the band nerd with thick glasses who you can never date because she’s actually pretty cute and way too talented for a deadbeat like you. The singer was the popular kid but with a sensitive side which got him laid all the time. The bassist was his slightly darker, quieter best friend. Et cetera.

“What’s with all the handsome grandsons in these rock band magazines? And what have they done with the fat ones? The bald and the goatee’d?”

Ron and I looked at each other after the set and shrugged. We both texted my brother, who adores Ra Ra Riot, to tell him how it went. Maybe he would have appreciated it more, would have savored the thickness of the strings, the whiskey textures, the sweet sentimentality.

Ron and I? We drove home and drank some more.

[Buy The Rhumb Line, which is pretty alright.]

One Response to “Review: Ra Ra Riot at Easy Street Records, Sept. 6, 2010”

  1. Adam says:

    Don’t you hate when that happens?

Got something to say?