Live: Ra Ra Riot/Young the Giant

rarariot5REVENTION MUSIC CENTER — 10/7/16: In an effort to get out of my comfort zone and expand my horizons (not to mention an effort to return to going to more shows, after a long break), when I received an email asking to review Syracuse, New York’s Ra Ra Riot as they opened for Young the Giant, I said, “yes, that sounds fun!”

I had heard the name, but never bothered to listen to Ra Ra Riot — shame on me! I guess we all have bands like that, where you may have heard the name but never got much further than watching one video on Youtube…

And after watching a Youtube live video from 2010, I wished I had given them more of a chance and started looking forward to the concert. Fast-forward a few days, and I managed to arrive at the concert just in time. I photographed the first three songs, enjoying the music as I made an effort to catch each member of the band in action.

After taking photos I made my way to the rear of the venue and watched and listened to the rest of the set. Not being familiar with the band, I tried to get their overall feel and fell in love with singer Wes Miles‘ amazing tenor voice, which soared over the instruments and harmonized effortlessly with violinist Rebecca Zeller‘s backing vocals.

As the set continued, my respect for Ra Ra Riot grew, and each song, from “Absolutely” to “Boy” to “Water,” became my favorite of the set, until the finale, “I Need Your Light,” the title track from their latest album.

With the set over, I waited patiently for Young the Giant. I wasn’t there to review YtG, but thought I’d check out their set. Mostly, they made me wish I hadn’t missed MuteMath the last time they were in town, but with that said, I definitely enjoyed watching the crowd freak out to their biggest hit, “Cough Syrup,” which has somehow found its way into the depths of my brain and onto the memory cards of most of the phones of the attendees.

After that, I felt it was time for me to make my way home. Enjoy the photos! END

(Photos [top to bottom]:

Willie Watson; Cary Ann Hearst; Shovels and Rope. All photos by Jason Smith.)


Live review by . Live review posted Friday, November 11th, 2016. Filed under Features, Live Reviews.

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