February 24, 2011
The Constellation Room
I was a little confused on when to get to The Constellation Room last Friday. The website said that the doors were at 7 p.m., but the show didn't start until 9 p.m.! I guess they wanted to entice crowds to get there early to booze it up at the bar. I chose the later time since I always like to make an entrance, and I usually like to put things off until the last possible minute. Upon my arrival, I noticed a lot of people already leaving the venue and walking to their cars- I thought I had already missed the first band, but these weren't followers of the supporting band Papa, these were disgruntled citizens who thought they could just walk up and get in to the show. Not the case, the show has been sold out for some time. I was even warned by the box office that, "it was tight in there..." [Insert that's what she said joke here.]
He wasn't lying. From the lobby, you could see people spilling out of small music room into the hallways trying to catch a glimpse of Papa, who I'm glad I was able to catch a few songs from. Let me say, Papa has some die hard fans, two whom I was standing next to who were belting out all the words and dancing like they were at a gospel revival. Usually this would annoy me, however, they seemed to genuinely like the band and their comments were funny. Once they group finished their song "Let's Make You Pregnant," the girls began to scream, "Make me pregnant, make me pregnant again..." I don't know what that last part meant, but I was hoping they would at least scream, "Papa, make me pregnant." It didn't happen, but I had hoped. Was that creepy?
I've been a fan of The Submarines for a while, so I was really excited that they were opening for Ra Ra Riot. I thought it was a great idea to add them as support for a show like this. Watching The Submarines lead singer, Blake Hazard, was like watching a girl version of the Energizer Bunny do a set. I was exhausted just watching her; she was non-stop dancing, jumping and a whole lot of smiling while the crowd ate her and her cheeriness right up. As the set progressed, did the amount of people dancing and even the hipsters that were too cool to act like they wanted to be there gave a couple of head nods here and there. I mean, how could you not like a show that includes a xylophone and melodica?
Ra Ra Riot blew my mind. I've listened to them for a while, but seeing them live was a whole other experience. The large band took the small stage to a roaring scream. They did not disappoint as they flew through their high energy set jumping from one song to the next with hardly any banter in between. The group covered songs from The Rumb Line, The Orchard and Self Titled, giving the crowd a little piece of everything. If you were a Ra Ra Riot fan, which I assumed you were because you were at the show, you definitely did not leave feeling disappointed. The band put 110% in and the fans loved every minute of it. As the set progressed, so did the energy and dancing. At some points it looked like a heavy metal mosh pit in the small room. I haven't seen group dancing and participation like this since I went to The Faint a couple years back, but maybe I just need to get out more. Overall, I was overly impressed and left with wanting more, which we were promised that they would be back soon.
Critic's Bias: I'm a huge Ra Ra Riot and The Submarines fan. I would have tried to seduce my sister to try and get to this show.
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Overheard in the Crowd:
"What the fuck, I didn't know this shit would actually sell out..." -Kids in the parking lot walking back to their cars.
Random notebook dump: There was a handicapped kid in a wheelchair that was dancing so hard that I thought he was gonna fall over. He was awesome.
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