Ra Ra Riot 11/3/15

(a) setlist

  1. St. Peter’s Day Festival
  2. Too Dramatic
  3. Binary Mind
  4. Bad Times
  5. Can You Tell
  6. Oh, La
  7. Dance With Me
  8. Run My Mouth
  9. Angel, Please
  10. Water
  11. Run Away With Me (Carly Rae Jepsen cover)
  12. I Shut Off
  13. Ghost Under Rocks
  14. Beta Love

Encore:

  1. Foreign Lovers
  2. Boy

(b) highlights

  • this was my first time seeing Ra Ra Riot since 2007ish – total throwback seeing them again
  • the band was just as energetic as I remember, tons of fun and dancey
  • I freaking love Baby’s All Right, it was the perfect venue for this type of band
  • I’ve always had a strange connection to “Ghost Under Rocks” so it was great to hear that for the first time live in many, many years
  • it made me excited to see them again in the future – I hope they put out new great music soon

(c) lowlights

  • none at all

(d) overall thoughts

I first saw Ra Ra Riot open for The Cribs in LA back in 2007. I had never heard of them then, but I instantly fell in love. Their shows are always energetic, high-energy, and I always love seeing women on-stage in rock bands. I’ve loved how the combination of sweet vocals, exquisite strings, and catchy guitar hooks makes for all-around cool tunes.

Baby’s All Right is a cool, small venue in Brooklyn that really let Ra Ra Riot shine – the sound was great, the lights were perfectly complimentary, and the crowd was having a great time. It made me feel strangely warm inside to hear classics like “St. Peter’s Day Festival” and “Ghost Under Rocks” after all these years and realize that simultaneously the band has grown so much without changing much at all. Which is the highest compliment I could give. I would love to see Ra Ra Riot play on a big stage or at a festival and really let their fun, dancey vibe spread out and breathe a bit, but I’m definitely glad I could catch them in such a small, intimate place.

 

Bottom line: Ra Ra Riot is a ton of fun and a band I’m proud to say had grown quite a bit over the years; I wish them nothing but the best.

Luxley 8/21/15

(a) setlist

(Don’t know! Setlist.fm doesn’t have any details and I’m not familiar with their discography. Had fun, though!)

(b) highlights

  • the lead singer came into the crowd and got people dancing – bold move for the first opener in a three-act show!
  • catchy songs, easy to dance to
  • Baby’s All Right is just such a great venue, will always see bands there, lighting is always top-notch, and the food is sweet

(c) lowlights

  • none!

(d) overall thoughts

Ended up at the show by accident – always a great beginning to a story. Luxley was the first act for a super long night of events and I caught them because a friend of mine was shooting them for an online feature. I didn’t know much about them when I got there, but I left feeling like those dudes knew how to¬†dance.

Their set was short but memorable. The lead singer had a palpable stage presence and reminded me of a good combination of Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco and Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees. Luxley has an electro-pop sensibility that doesn’t feel trite or forgettable. I read that they opened for Bombay Bicycle Club a few years ago and hope they tour again with a few big bands so others can catch on. I’d be interested in catching them again sometime soon if only to watch everyone in that band dance.

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Bottom line: Luxley seem like they have room to grow, but I’m excited to watch them rise up; at the end of the day, successful dancey electro pop songs will get any room dancing and these dudes were definitely successful.

Bonus! I found this track, “Dance Baby” quite memorable:

PILE 4/28/16

(a) setlist

    1. The World Is Your Hotel
    2. Mr. Fish
    3. Baby Boy
    4. The Browns
    5. Special Snowflakes
    6. Grunt Like a Pig
    7. Pets
    8. Appendicitis
    9. #2 Hit Single

(b) highlights

  • love the hell out of Baby’s All Right – cute, intimate, solid venue
  • this hilarious moment of my friend spending the whole night falling in love with a dude who was dramatically leaning up against the prototypical Brooklyn exposed-brick wall…who turned out to be the lead singer of PILE
  • going to a show and seeing a band I literally know nothing about and having a great time

(c) lowlights

  • 15-year-olds wearing backpacks and unnecessarily moshing…actually, that was funny

(d) overall thoughts

I ended up at this show by accident, which is always kind of great. A friend of mine was BFF’s with the opening act – a solid dude named Yaz who’s into the whole 70’s psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll shindig and he was cool. Turned out, he had been playing guitar in PILE for a tour or two, so we stuck around for them. They’re Boston-based, which sort of comes through in their performance, but I’m pretty sure that’s 70% based on their beards, outfits, and one of them vaguely saying, “So…we’re from New England.” They were post-hardcore punkish – whatever that means – but, in a strange way, they reminded me of a bunch of pseudo-emo kids who were really into the slower, smarter Blink 182 songs (whichever ones those are) and maybe the sadder Offspring songs (again, do those exist?? somehow, I feel like they do).

The show felt small and intimate in a way that you consciously think, “I’m seeing something special that no one else really knows about right now…and that’s nice.” There’s passion and real emotion behind the occasionally erratic guitar and always erratic drums, and I would definitely aim to catch these guys again. Yeah, you can jump around and connect with the punk-ish roots, or you can directly connect to the emotion behind those songs – there’s a bit for everyone when it comes to PILE.

 

Bottom line: They’re not the second coming of Nirvana or anything, but PILE’s got the guitar chops, rock ‘n’ roll attitude, and sad grunge-y undertone of real heart to reel you in.

Note: I actually took many more pictures than this – I vividly remember most of them, but I think my computer ate them. This is somehow most fitting for this show. Even more of a secret now.

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