Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cayucas, Pacific Air, Ra Ra Riot - Concert Review

     On Monday night, February 11, we saw Ra Ra Riot at the Fillmore in San Francisco.  This is a venue I would recommend for live music. It’s larger than our other venue recommendations (The Independent, Bottom of the Hill, Café du Nord), but the acoustics are very good.  They continue to follow their traditions of having a greeter at the door, giving out free apples in a tin bucket as you enter, and providing free posters to every attendee of a soldout show.  However, this was not a sellout, so we did not get a poster.  The aesthetics are striking, as ten beautiful glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling, in stark contrast to framed vintage rock posters throughout the upstairs area.
For weeks, we were hesitant in our decision of whether to attend the concert.  The hesitancy was not based on the talent of the bands.  Instead, we were concerned that the combination of the three bands would not have enough of a “rock edge” to keep the evening interesting.  As it turned out, we made the right decision when we made the drive to San Francisco.

     There were two opening bands for Ra Ra Riot.  The first, Cayucas, is a band founded in 2012.  They’re from a small beach-town off the coast near San Luis Obispo, and their music reflects their origin; a surf/rock vibe.  Cayucas has been opening for the Ra Ra Riot tour thus far.  The band consists of five members, and at least some members had family at the show.  The lead singer gave them recognition and “shout outs” twice during their performance. 
“Cayucas” by Cayucos

      The second band, Pacific Air, was very impressive.  They too are from Southern California. They had good vocalization and three of the five members regularly contributed to the vocals.  To the credit of the band, each band member has charisma, so that if your view was partially blocked by another concert-goer, there was still something interesting to watch.  Pacific Air had just joined the Ra Ra Riot tour that day, after driving 32 hours from Chicago to make the show.  Surprisingly they didn’t seem tired at all! They put on a strong performance, with our favorite song being “Float”.  The vocals within the song were very enchanting and the chorus was catchy. Their genre is pop, but they have a rock feel to them as well, at least in concert. 
"Float" by Pacific Air

     Ra Ra Riot was great!  They played a setlist of 17 songs, including the two for the encore.  The band has six members.   They are based in Syracuse, New York, but have been touring the United States this year.  Their genre is rock, but of particular interest is their use of the cello and violin, both played by females.  The violinist sang and provided lead vocals for one of the songs.  The string section added a valuable tone to their overall sound, which is an electro-pop.  The “music visualizers” were a great addition in bringing an intended feel for their music.  Below are two pictures of the visualizers taken while using my iPhone during the performance.  The current single of Ra Ra Riot is “Beta Love,” which is included below.  The song is free and legal from the band and is recommended by us. “When I Dream” is also included, since it is our  favorite.

"Beta Love" by Ra Ra Riot 

"When I Dream" by Ra Ra Riot

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