Ra Ra Riot leaves fans screaming for more

By Tappan Parker

Courtesy Myspace.com

Ra Ra Riot, the up-and-coming indie rock band from New York, played at the Pearl Street Ballroom Monday night to an enthusiastic Northampton crowd.

The show kicked off with a short half hour set from the California-based. We Barbarians, the first of two opening bands. The three-piece band is similar to the headliners, however its music is much heavier than Ra Ra Riot’s. The sound was a bit muddled making it hard to hear the lead singer, but the band still managed to keep a rocking beat going throughout their set.

The next band to take the stage was Mexico City’s Chikita Violenta. The band had a lot of energy in their first show of the tour and they were an absolute delight to watch. The lead singer was all smiles and the entire band seemed ecstatic to be opening for Ra Ra Riot. Their music had a distinct upbeat feel to it and got the crowd swaying.

Finally, it was time for the main act to take the stage, and boy, did they rock the house. The fans of the band immediately got as close as they could to stage, forming a crowd that moved in sync with the sweet melodies that poured from the bands speakers.

Wes Miles, the singer gave a great performance, crooning into the microphone with his melancholic lyrics. Bassist Mathieu Santos and guitarist Milo Bonacci got really into the show and were constantly walking around the small stage. Cellist Alexandra Lawn and violinist Rebecca Zeller gave very moving performances, rocking and swaying in time with the music.

The band played a number of songs from both their albums, going back and forth between hits like “Boy,” “Dying is Fine,” “Ghost Under Rocks,” and “Shadowcasting.” At one point a fan even yelled out a request for “Foolish,” a song off the band’s recently released album, and Miles enthusiastically obliged, despite no apparent plan to play the song that night.

The highly-polished energy the band had on stage was amazing. Every member remained animated throughout the band’s short, but sweet set, which ended with Miles high-fiving fans who found their way to the front of the stage.

After departing, the antsy crowd began shouting for more from the band, and they happily returned with a special performance of their song “Massachusetts” off of their newest album. They had been saving this song to bid off their Massachusetts fans with a fond farewell.

Ra Ra Riot lit the stage with their powerful performance. Despite only playing for a little over an hour, each member put their heart into the performance and it was clear that they were enjoying themselves.

Tappen Parker can be reached at [email protected]