Ra Ra Riot / Pepper Rabbit / Giver
January 29, 2011 @ Neumos, Seattle
By Charlie Larson
After seeing Ra Ra Riot on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, I was hoping that witnessing them live would bring more energy and life than what I saw on television.
Los Angeles’ Pepper Rabbit opened the night and definitely set the mark pretty high for Giver and Ra Ra Riot to follow. Beauregard, Pepper Rabbit’s debut album, was recorded locally at Bear Creek in Woodinville, WA by Ryan Hadlock.
Live, Xander Singh and Luc Laurent’s harmonies intertwined with multiple instrument loops and we’re the highlight of the evening. Everything on stage felt like it had the potential to go through a loop or an effect, whether it be clarinet, piano, guitar, or even vocals. These beautiful loops along side a driving melodic rhythm section delivered more energy and catchy hooks than I heard the rest of the night.
Headliner Ra Ra Riot performed to a full crowd and a constant roar between songs. Catchy indie songwriting brought smiles to a crowd singing along to Ra Ra’s Wes Miles, but it felt like they were not bringing all they could. Mathieu Santos’ bass playing kept heads moving, especially accompanying the cello and violin – this combination is what creates the soundscape that is Ra Ra Riot.
More energy was put forth at Neumos than I saw on Kimmel, but I expected a bit more and was disappointed overall in the performance from veterans who are known to put forth an energetic show.
At the end of the night, Ra Ra Riot gave a full house plenty to cheer for, but Pepper Rabbit’s piano hooks and harmonies are the ones still bouncing around in my head.