Friday, October 2, 2009

Concert Review: Ra Ra Riot's The Rhumb Line.... Live in ATL. (A-)

Continuing a great week of music for me, I was able to see Ra Ra Riot live a couple nights ago. I'll preface this by saying Ra Ra Riot has been a favorite band of mine since their album The Rhumb Line hit stores. The band's unique string driven sound, led by violinist Rebecca Zeller and cellist Alexandra Lawn, certainly sets this band apart from similar indie-acts. Frontman Wes Miles also brings a great voice to the table... which is why Discovery's LP has also been a recent favorite of mine as well.

The overall concert was awesome... but a couple aspects of their live show really stuck out to me. First, I realized that Rebecca Zeller and Wes Miles (both pictured above) essentially make the band great. The whole band, as a unit, is quite cohesive; but, after watching Ra Ra Riot live, it became utterly obvious that Rebecca's musicianship carried virtually every song. Not to sell the other band mates short... but Rebecca's violin part was, and is, literally what you hum to yourself when you're walking down the street. Listen to the album again and see if you don't agree.

Second, they executed their songs so perfectly that it sounded almost identical to the album... which was a little frustrating. I kept wanting some sort of solo, new riff, or any type of extended jam. For the most part, this never happened. The live versions were even timed almost identically to their album's counterpart. With this said, if you liked the album, you will definitely like the show. Their lack of innovation live (with the exception of a few new songs), however, kept them from being a truly great breakout live band.

Here are some live tunes -- these are chill versions though. They were much more upbeat when I saw them.
Ra Ra Riot - Each Year (Live at the Pop Machine)
Ra Ra Riot - Can You Tell (Live at the Pop Machine)

Buy The Rhumb Line here.

Special thanks to bipbip photographer A.S. for the pics.
(click them to get full size)

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