The wind was intact last night, but surfacing melodies dominated it instead. If audience attendees at last night’s Metro show with Ra Ra Riot weren’t already hooked on the dynamic, six-piece symphony, they certainly were by the time the performance ended. One could say that lead-singer Wes Miles carries a bit of infectiousness with him and sprinkles it invisibly to those in his and the band’s surroundings during performances. In all fairness, though, violinist Rebecca Zeller was just as striking, sparkling from head-to-toe in her elegant attire, as well as her accompanying instrument. Let’s just be honest, though—the entire band was beyond dapper and appealing to the eyes and ears. While it may come as a surprise because of the seemingly soft and soothing sounds of the present strings (like the violin and cello), the Syracuse-native band knows how to liven up a crowd, and in full capacity. Decked with diverse fans—ones who had been following the band since their early beginnings of The Rhumb Line, and ones who were newer, yet just as enthusiastic—stood defiantly by the stage and balcony of the venue; in fact, they were like a dedicated army, protecting the band as they played, swaying when the melodies were slower and jumping up and down vigorously with raised arms and fists as the pace quickened with quirky, yet ingenious beats and instrumentals. Showcasing songs from their entire catalog, Ra Ra Riot adored the Chicago crowd as much as the crowd adored them. Miles continually stated how the audience was “the best” and even stated that this show had been their best one in the city, yet. If that wasn’t enough to show his appreciation, he also descended the stage and slid around the pit to give audience members energetic high fives, then jumped into the crowd for a brief surf. Everyone was hungry for the astounding aesthetic, so it’s no wonder the band came back for a two-song encore to fulfill the night.
Fridays are always looked forward to, but when Ra Ra Riot’s in town, the mood is instantly securely consoling, and the weekend is already consummated. This can be attested: the next time the band comes to the Windy City, its patrons will be more than ready to become intoxicated by their tunes.
SETLIST: Too Too Fast; Shadowcasting; Binary Mind; Oh, La; Angel, Please; Dance With Me; Too Dramatic; St. Peter’s; For Once; Each Year; Can You Tell; When I Dream; Beta Love; Run My Mouth; Ghost Under Rocks; Boy
ENCORE: Dying Is Fine; I Shut Off