Ra Ra Riot, an alternative-rock group hailing from Syracuse, New York managed to do the impossible this Wednesday night at Liberty Hall— to get a crowd full of college kids out of the library and onto the dance floor during a week full of exams and papers due.
And how could they not? The band features an eclectic yet harmonious mix of your common rock and roll gear- bass, guitar, drums- and adds in a little synthesizer and a lot of orchestral composition.
Ra Ra Riot’s incorporation of classical instruments into their indie-pop sound was a surefire winner with KU senior, Jessie Jacobe.
“They had a spectacular performance. I loved the use of violin and cello. The strings set them apart from other independent bands,” said Jacobe.
Year in and year out, Student Union Activities provides KU students and the public, with a real treat. They manage to nab a band or artist, before they hit meteoric success, and get them to put on outstanding shows in phenomenal venues (i.e. Chance the Rapper at Liberty Hall in 2013 and Vic Mensa at The Lied Center in 2015). These guys live up to their motto: “We’re the put on a show kind of people” and absolutely crush it. This was just another (achievement/success) in their long, impressive list of those.
Liberty Hall was the perfect venue for them. There were enough people there for the vibes to be energetic, yet limited enough to feel intimate. Not a face in the crowd drew their gaze away from the band as they cruised through explosive song after explosive song.
Led by Wes Miles’ charismatic persona and impeccable falsetto, Ra Ra Riot charged through a set list spanning their entire catalog from 2008’s The Rhumb Line to 2016’s Need Your Light. For fans like Sam Tenenbaum, senior, it was exactly what he’d be expecting and hoping for.
“I have followed this band for years and have always dreamed of seeing them in such an amazing venue and with such an incredible sound,” Tenenbaum said. “The enthusiasm that they played with was infectious and I felt like busting a move the whole time.”
Everybody packed inside the warm venue seemingly brought their dancing shoes and were ready to get down with the fun. Songs like “Too Too Too Fast” and “Dance With Me” lit up the stage and the crowd alike.
“Suckers” sounded fantastic live. With it’s harmonious chorus, the chugging synth beats and stunning vocal performance by Miles, it’s a blazing hot track.
The Ra Ra Riot show was lively proof that you can bring college students out of dormancy and into a dancing fury with just a few sweet bass licks and some funky synth-lines.