While I do have some major issues with the base setup of First Tap events at Bear Tooth in Anchorage, Alaska (the bulk of which came out in a discussion with my friend Stephanie), I'd be lying if I didn't say that they sometimes give us some pretty damn kickin' shows. This past Thursday was a particularly good example of that, as indie favorites Ra Ra Riot came into town and assailed Alaskan eyes and ears with the fun tunes and energetic live shows that have long been well known to those from the contiguous United States.
While the less said about the two opening acts, the better (a DJ who acts like he's god's gift to music named Alex the Lion that just knows how to press enter on a MacBook Pro, and The Smile Ease, a band who has no idea who they are), Ra Ra Riot had an air about them. They seemed like seasoned veterans who haven't lost their love for what they do yet. Sometimes a band can sound tight and good, but they clearly are going through the motions and not having a good time.
Definitely not the case for Ra Ra Riot.
They were smart in their setlist design, sticking to tracks that are more crowd pleasing and keeping the audience eating from their hands the whole time. The only real downer from the set was when the vocals went out at the beginning of "Can You Tell?" and I missed my favorite part of my favorite song. Besides that, it was all dancing and singalongs from yours truly, with a side of winking at their gorgeous string section. Hot!
If you get the opportunity, definitely check out Ra Ra Riot. They're a heck of a good time live, and they make some damn fine music too.