Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ra Ra Riot, The Earl, Atlanta

It's almost the end of Rocktober, which has seemed to last a short eternity - sometimes time seems to go fast and we feel that our lives are rushing past us, and other times it seems to go slower. Right now, Rocktober feels like it's lasted for months and months, and last September's Bumbershoot and MFNW feel like a year ago.  I like it when time goes slow.

Tonight's Rocktober show was Ra Ra Riot, Delicate Steve and Yellow Ostrich at The Earl.  Alert readers will recall that we saw Yellow Ostrich earlier this Rocktober (although it seems like so much longer ago), opening for The Antlers at the misbegotten Masquerade, where they were almost drowned out by the racket coming from upstairs.  This evening was Atlanta's chance to redeem itself for such poor hospitality, and my chance to actually hear Yellow Ostrich perform, rather than just see them perform.

As before, Alex Schaaf made prodigious use of repeaters, layering vocal tracks over each other until he created virtual choirs of his lone voice, while his bassist and one-man horn section, Jon Natchez, did about the same.

New Jersey's Delicate Steve performed between opener Yellow Ostrich and headliner Ra Ra Riot. Delicate Steve plays instrumental rock somewhere between jam-band improvisation and spaced-out psychedelia, with some tribal drumming and surf guitar thrown in the mix for good measure.  He had a five-piece band with him, including a second guitar, a bassist, a multi-instrumental keyboardist, and a standing drummer (something I'm seeing more and more of this year).

Near the end of the set, Delicate Steve had Jon Natchez of Yellow Ostrich join them on stage to add some baritone sax to the eclectic, anything-goes sound

The evening's headliners were Ra Ra Riot, who recently appeared on the Jimmy Fallon tee-vee show.

So we were all familiar with their songs and their sound, and those of us close to the stage could see the set list and thought we knew what to expect.

What no one saw coming and nobody expected was the band to come on stage dressed in their Halloween costumes.  They performed in costume for their entire set.

Speaking of Halloween, there was also this guy from last night.

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