Posted in music | pictures on August 6, 2011

photos by Toby Tenenbaum, words by Andrew Sacher

"The highlight had to be Ra Ra Riot coming
on stage to "Raining Blood" \m/" - Debbie Encalada

Ra Ra Riot
Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot played a free Celebrate Brooklyn show, the second to last one of the summer, in Prospect Park Friday night (8/5) with support from Buke & Gass and Delicate Steve.

Buke & Gass kicked things off with their unique brand of avant-pop, driven by their self-built instruments and whatever percussion the duo can manage to pull off with their feet. The circumstances definitely weren't the best for the Brooklyn-based band, who were opening a large, sparsely filled out venue for a much poppier act. But given the attention they deserved, Buke & Gass were able to prove that they've got some really interesting material. The duo focus more on rhythm than melody (which are usually far off-kilter) and are able to loop you in to hypnotic patterns, somewhat similarly to tUnE-yArDs, who they have opened for. On top of the attractively unsettling chord progressions, singer Arone Dyer delivers with a surprisingly beautiful voice, unlike the howls of the aforementioned tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus. As I said, the circumstances were not ideal, but I was definitely won over by their set and look forward to hopefully catching them in a smaller venue.

Their set was followed by Delicate Steve, who I first saw when they opened for Yeasayer at Governors Island last summer, and they haven't changed a bit. They played a mainly instrumental set which was sonically more fit for the jam scene, except for the fact that everything felt way too scripted. The band's bland chord progressions and overused jungle drum beats were added to only by uninspired, repetitive guitar solos.

At around 9 PM, the lights completely darkened and Slayer's "Raining Blood" blasted through the PA system as Ra Ra Riot ran out onto the stage. WIthout saying a word, Slayer faded out and Ra Ra Riot went directly into "Too Too Too Fast" off 2008's The Rhumb Line. The band played what they said may have been their longest set ever, which included most of both full lengths, a track off their self titled EP, and two covers. Save for a few exceptions, The Rhumb Line tracks stood out pretty significantly among the rest. The Orchard is a solid album start to finish, but many of the songs lack the urgency of their earlier material, which resonates so strongly in a live setting. When the band powered through classics like "Can You Tell," "Oh La," and "Ghost Under Rocks," the members were having so much fun on stage that you couldn't help but join them. They did hit some highs with the newer material though, notably on the Alexandra Lawn-fronted slow-burner "You And I Know" and when they closed their set with the frantic pop of "Boy." The band opened their two song encore with a cover of Steve Winwood's "Valerie," before diving into another standout, "Dying Is Fine," which saw singer Wes Miles run through the audience.

More pictures, videos, and Ra Ra's setlist from the show below...

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Buke and Gass

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Delicate Steve

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot - "Dying Is Fine" at Prospect Park 8/5/11

Ra Ra Riot - "Boy" at Prospect Park 8/5/11

Ra Ra Riot - "Can You Tell" at Prospect Park 8/5/11

Ra Ra Riot - "You And I Know" at Prospect Park 8/5/11

Ra Ra Riot - "Ghost Under Rocks" at Prospect Park 8/5/11

Ra Ra Riot Setlist:
Too Too Too Fast
Shadowcasting
Oh La
Do You Remember
Each Year
You And I Know
St. Peter's Day Festival
Foolish
Massachusets
Can You Tell
Saccharin and the War (Tommy Sparks cover)
Run My Mouth
The Orchard
Ghost Under Rocks
Too Dramatic
Boy

Encore:
Valerie (Steve Winwood cover)
Dying Is Fine

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Comments (23)

Amazing show!

Posted by Anonymous | August 6, 2011 11:36 PM

Actually Delicate Steve is sick.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 12:13 AM

Delicate Steve is Tom from Brooklyn Bowl's beard.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 12:39 AM

not listening to some asshole who calls himself delicate steve. fuck off.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 2:33 AM

12:13 is absolutely right. Delicate Steve is mad talented and the set was dope. Andrew, you need to stop listening to Vampire Weekend and expand your tastes - lots of good music out there.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 7:48 AM

So, wait ... Wes, was it awesome or was it special? C'mon kid, it can't be both

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 7:50 AM

Where are the boobs!?!

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 9:21 AM

Dying is Fine is such a great song to end a show with a real fave. Good write up and great pictures/video, thank you. I was there and it was a great show but it didn't look this good from where I was standing.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 9:28 AM

U LIKE THE BOOBS?

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 11:44 AM

"The Orchard is a solid album start to finish, but many of the songs lack the urgency of their earlier material, which resonates so strongly in a live setting. "

Nice opinion buddy. I thought the complete opposite, and the band really lit up on the Orchard tracks. You could tell they were having a much better time playing their newer material.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 12:06 PM

gorgeous night out for a show in the park - i enjoyed "Boy" the most in the set and i agree with 12:13am - i really liked Delicate Steve - first time hearing them and was impressed

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 12:11 PM

Never listened to RRR before, and after seeing them Friday I don't think I'll be listening in the future (not my cuppa tea). Delicate Steve, on the other hand, I'll be listening to more of them.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 1:04 PM

Ben Gibbard really brings this band together

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 2:05 PM

delicate steve looks like a class act

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 3:14 PM

rhumb line is a great album. have to check out the new stuff.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 3:23 PM

Ta Ta Terrible

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 3:24 PM

a great show, if you are a female that loves carbohydrates and music that doesn't challenge you or any junk like that.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 3:50 PM

Overall I give RRR a thumbs up.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 4:00 PM

SPECIAL ENVIRONMENT

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 9:39 PM

Cutest string section in a band for sure! Good band to.

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 10:06 PM

It's funny because Delicate Steve are really awesome recorded... but yeah their live show was extremely boring. Uninspired jam band dad-rock is exactly what it came off as. Hopefully it all comes together for them at some point...

Posted by Anonymous | August 7, 2011 11:21 PM

alex cut her shorter and dyed it blonde and covered up her bobbies. i'd still do her.

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2011 9:25 AM

naaa man Delicate Steve rules

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2011 4:26 PM

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