Ra Ra Riot

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Ra Ra Riot @ Chop Suey – May 12, 2008

I will always remember that concert I went to when my friend turned to me and remarked, “The opening band has killed my buzz.” It was a life lesson that everyone has to learn on their own regarding the delicate live music arrival formula. You know, time of doors + ( number of bands x average venue lateness) plus the square root of 42. However, sometimes, yes, sometimes, it pays to get that formula wrong and find yourself walking into a mostly empty club waiting for everything to begin. Kind of like last night.

First of all, when there’s no one but you and your plus one (Beth), the bar is wonderfully clear for you to consider the best option to go with your pre-loaded gin drink, quaffed moments before boarding the bus. Secondly, one gets to be an old fogey and pick out the best seats to be hoarded for the evening. And finally, and the most important reason, you get to hear ridiculously cute and fantastic bands from Iceland who aren’t even on the bill that you’ll never get to see again because you couldn’t understand their name. I mean, seriously I couldn’t understand their name. They were halfway through their first poppy song when I realized they weren’t singing in English. They apologized for not being at their best since one of their singers went home to be with his newborn, but they were still pretty great. As Beth quite handily sums up, “Their music was catchy, even if it was in a different language and they kind of totally stole the show. Also, they were tall.”

I also liked Panda and Angel quite a bit. I think I might have been the last person in Seattle to have heard of this local band [tig], since they have quite a (deserved, I think) following, which is of course another consequence of trying to show up when the headliners go on. Their upbeat tempos yet croony-style vocals were the perfect bridge between Iceland and Syracuse. Also, I’m always amazed at bands that are able to switch instruments around all willy-nilly like and yet still sound fairly tight. They’ll be playing later on this month (5/30) at Neumo’s – highly recommend. All in all, we totally lucked out, but I suppose that’s to be expected in this city.

As for the band we were there to see? Not Little Ones, but Ra Ra Riot, up-and-coming band from Syracuse, NY. Beth and I (and the Icelandic band) all concurred that the sound was perhaps past 11. Oh yeah, too loud. I was suddenly convinced that I needed to start wearing ear plugs to shows. But aside from that, they were pretty great. Beth, “did enjoy the string instruments, and the collaboration, and particularly the instruments themselves, which rather than your typical violin or cello were simply metal or plastic outlines of the instruments with strings in the proper places. It certainly looked cool.” Yep. Yep. And yep. The strings were well-integrated into their high-energy show. I am also now in love with the violinist. More importantly, if I remember correctly, they plan to swing back through Seattle in September. I think that means Bumbershoot and I hope so. I think this band might be perfect for listening to outside under a lovely Seattle September’s evening.

Videos and downloads:
Panda and Angel [myspace]
Ra Ra Riot [#, myspace]

6 Comments so far

  1. wesa on May 13th, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

    Haha "they were tall" is an awesome reason to like a band. :)


  2. Erin (lunge) on May 13th, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

    I am one of those old people who has to wear ear plugs at shows. Ever since seeing Bob Mould at Neumos a number of years ago and having my ears ring for days afterwards I haven’t gone to a show without them.


  3. mjaseattle on May 13th, 2008 @ 3:22 pm

    I was this close (see the tiny space between my thumb and index finger?) to making the trip downtown for this show! Now I’m really wishing I did…


  4. CeRo (cero) on May 13th, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

    Yes, one would think I would have learned my lesson already, but alas, I’m slow…and sadly not tall.


  5. Beth (sea_beth2) on May 13th, 2008 @ 3:33 pm

    I still want to find out what their name was. And I should see if I can’t find a decent cameraphone photo of them to put on flickr…


  6. Erin (lunge) on May 13th, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

    As for finding out what they’re called, do you think someone who works at Chop Suey would know? Maybe give them a call or e-mail them or something? I did that once w/ the Showbox and they were fairly helpful!



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