Live Review

SXSW 2010: Ra Ra Riot, Club De Ville, Austin

They’ve managed to retain the energy and debutant excitement that drives their shows.

Ra Ra Riot

have all the look and most of the sound of a typical indie act. With a few notable exceptions (cello, fiddle) their configuration appears pretty normal, but they manage to perform that rare musical alchemy in which the standard fare is transformed into audio gold.

The cello gives a tense undertone to many songs which, otherwise, might pass us by as happy. The artists tap into the unique voices of their instruments, and when the electric fiddle wails, you hear it. Hailing from Upstate New York, Ra Ra Riot simultaneously embody the aesthetics of the Northeast with a bit more of a college vibe. Their audience, for one, looks quite young. But more than that they’ve managed to retain the energy and debutant excitement that drives their shows and has given them the successes they currently enjoy.

Tuning in and closing one’s eyes, the music jumps up and about, helps you ignore the drunks pressing in on all sides and, like any good alchemist, leaves you with a feeling of more at the end of the day.

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