It's kind of funny, during the entire summer I didn't go to any concerts at all, save for The Faint in Philadelphia. Then when school starts (i.e. when all my free time disappears) I'm going to concerts almost every weekend. Why might this be? Well the number one reason is that I'm currently unemployed! So carting my jobless butt around the greater New York area has never been easier!
This past weekend I once again made the tumultuous trip to Rochester, NY to see Walter Meego and Ra Ra Riot at the Bug Jar. Whose owner, I must add, is a very kind gentleman. There was an opener who went by the name John Moses, who played acoustic guitar and harmonica, he was decent, but not the flavor I was looking for in Roc city. Such is the plight of the opening act.
Walter Meego soon took the stage, adorned with Mickey Mouse T-shirts. They launched into a noisy rendidition of "Wanna Be a Star" that was largely devoid of drum machine, so I feared that I was viewing a repeat of the White Williams show where the band would sound nothing like the CD. Not always a bad thing, but when the Band's CD is amazing, it's kind of a let down. Luckily as soon as the guitar reverb faded, Justin Sconza stepped out from behind a tower of Korg keyboards and stood behind a table that had what looked to be million little gadgets. He started gyrating behind the table, indicating that, yes ladies and gentlemen, the beats were about to drop. And they did, and it was good, amen.
The band unleashed some great songs from their debut album "Voyager", including; "Lost", their Heinekin hit "Forever", "Girls", my brooding favorite "Letting Go", and the show highlight; the face-melting club destroyer "Keyhole". Seriously, when I heard the break before the guitar solo, I turned to my girlfriend and said "Oh snap, it's on!". For real. The band ended with the slower song "Your Love", which kind of surprised me considering that they are an electronic/dance/pop act, but their sound was fantastic, and I didn't mind having my eardrums soothed with some sweet sweet synthesizers.
Ra Ra Riot the "Upstate New York Heroes" were next on the ticket and they literally came in the backdoor and brought their equipment with them. The drummer even had to push through the crowd to get to his kit. You've got to admire that kind of Pragmatism. Once all the equipment was on the stage, the band sound checked all of the instruments, allowing us to hear some of the violin and cello chops of the band's lovely ladies.
The amicably charming Wesley Miles (Hey, nice name) took the stage and politely apologized for taking so long, and then the band roared into some energetic songs off of their new album, "The Rhumb Line". Their songs seemed to cast a magic spell on the kids who had, oddly, stood still with their arms crossed occasionally pushing thier black square framed glasses up their noses during Walter Meego. The kids were now actually bobbing their heads. Very Strange. Highlights of the show included, a stirring version of "Ghosts Under Rocks", Their new single "Dying is Fine" (To which a green shirted bearded man seemed to be testifying to with his hands in the air, reciting the song lyric for lyric), and my favorite song of their set, "Too Too Too Fast", whose lyrics of frustration over love and eyes (What a great combo), a great violin riff, and of course ample use of John Hughes era keyboards. Despite some equipment malfuntions (Cello amp broke), Ra Ra Riot returned to play an encore of "Hounds of Love" originally by Kate Bush. They put on a fitting warm up show for their high profile hometown gig Sunday at Syracuse University's Juice Jam opening for Bloc Party.
Walter Meego - Keyhole
Walter Meego - Letting Go
Walter Meego - Through A Keyhole (Le Castle Vania Remix)
Walter Meego Myspace
Ra Ra Riot - Ghost Under Rocks
Ra Ra Riot - Dying is Fine
Ra Ra Riot - Too Too Too Fast
Ra Ra Riot Myspace