Last Night: Ra Ra Riot at Neumos


It's official. The guys and gals that make up Ra Ra Riot are really hot (in a really geeky way.) They took the stage at Neumos last night and were a pleasure to see perform live. It's no fluke that the five-piece indie rock band went from playing gigs around Syracuse University's campus to headlining a national tour in less than a year's.

Lead vocalist Wes Miles has got a saccharine sweet croon that's as solid live as it is on the band's critcally acclaimed LP The Rhumb Line. But the real star of the night was cellist Alexandra Lawn, who rocked out in a vintage wedding dress looking absolutely ethereal. I couldn't take my eyes off her. I think everybody at Neumos fell in love with the cellist babe last night.

Despite the upbeat image Ra Ra Riot has, many of their songs actually deal with death. Two years ago, the band's original drummer John Ryan Pike drowned. After deciding to continue on as a band, Ra Ra Riot went on to record some pretty heavy material. Yet their incorporation of chamber music and pop into these tracks have made the subject a lot easier to swallow.

Sara Brickner has repeatedly told me how underwhelmed she is by Ra Ra Riot. Well, she is dead wrong about them. So suck it, Brickner! I will say however, that despite our different musical tastes, there is one thing that my colleague and I actually do agree on, and that's regarding the crowd at Neumos.

What is up with you people who go to see shows at Neumos?! Maybe it's because I'm not from Seattle. Or because I'm not a hipster. But seriously, you've got some good ass music playing. Lighten up and dance a little. Crack a smile. Do something besides standing there like a statue, for godsake. Ra Ra Riot is singing about dead people, and yet it's you that's depressing me.

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