on friday, after two straight days of snow, tommy and i ventured up to lakeview to go to one of the best venues i've been to in this city thus far.
anyhow, a while back, i happened upon the virgins myspace page and instantly loved them. when we went to brooklyn this summer for the Daft Punk show, i was bound and determind to find a Virgins show whilst there. and a Vampire Weekend show, for that matter. neither worked out. the Virgins were quite allusive during that period and Vampire Weekend was playing a free show at the same time we had other things scheduled (either the jazz show or the ted leo/thermals show @ McCarren...i can't remember), and they were also opening for Tokyo Polic Club in hoboken, but that show was sold the eff out. dang. anyhow, we managed to slip into the Bowery one night for TPC and the band that opened for them was Ra Ra Riot. we both really loved them immediately: 1) the name fucking rocks and 2) they have strings! glorious strings! not to mention they were just super great all around.
cut to a few weeks ago when both tom and i were feverishly attempting to locate tix to Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow, but had ZERO luck. (people on craiglist were offering $100 per ticket and still, no one was giving theirs up. dang. let's cross our fingers for a second date here, which is the rumor i read somewhere a few days ago.)
to appease the heart-broken tom, i asked him if he'd be interested in Ra Ra and the Virgins at Schubas. mehhhh...he wasn't feelin it, still holdin out for Cut Chemist (who IS super great...i saw him for free a few years back at Artscape in bmore). as the days grew nearer, tom came to terms with the fact that there was NO WAY IN HELL that we'd be able to get into that show, so finally he succumbed to my offering on Monday. and, because we've gotten BURNED several times before by not buying tix in advance for good shows that we think no one else will go to (seriously, chicago kids like good music way more than Bmore/DC kids--a sad fact, but oh so true), i dished out $10 per ticket on Tuesday to assure entry. (the cool things about Schubas is that even if you can't get into the music room, you can hear it from the bar. but really, that's sometimes worse...hearing the awesomeness but not getting to see it? plus dancing in the bar area can be a bit awkward...)
so we went and i'm amped i thought ahead to get tix because it was, as predicted, sold the eff out. sweet.
the Essex Channel, a local act, was playing the end of their set when we got there. didn't hear the whole thing, but what i did hear, i sorta got down with. (btw, i really want to provide you with a link to a web page or myspace page or something for them, but i can't find one. allusive little fellas.) they all were wearing fun suits and ties, which i like.
then the Virgins came on. i srsly love them. the lead singer reminds me of a young Ramone...joey, maybe...? anyway, they were super great. fun and total rock 'n roll, which i dig. and of course, they finished with "Rich Girls" which i swear, too many people know from its appearance on Gossip Girl. not hating, just a little weirded out by it. chalk it up to a music producer with awesome taste on the show...? whatevs. also, the bassist/guitar player on one sing, Nick...? he's my new faux boyfriend. look how cute he is:
anyhow, next up was Ra Ra Riot. as i mentioned previously they have a strings section. Arcade Fire-ish, but so not. i read recently on someone else's blog that they are Arcade Fire without the pretension. and i absolutely agree. not a speck of pretension here. just two hot chicks playing cello and violin, rocking the eff out. and four guys rocking out. seriously, tom and i were wondering how they'd all fit on the tiny stage at Schubas. they did, but as i'd predicted, Rebecca (violinist) definitely came close to poking out some eyes a coupla times with the frantic bow of hers. which only made it more super awesome.
i can't say enough good things about Ra Ra Riot. really, i can't. they are the band that seems like they geniuinely fucking LOVE what they're doing. they smile and dance and really, truly look they honestly are having a blast. and that's always a treat. because seriously, touring bands have the best jobs on the planet and i really get annoyed when a band gets onstage all sullen-like and doesn't look like they're enjoying themselves.
the other super cool thing was that they came back for TWO encores. and the lead singer (who also jams on the keys a bit!) made the comment that that was the first time they'd ever come back twice. i don't know if that's the truth, but either way, it's rare that a smallish "indie" band at a tiny venue does that. so that was even cooler, ya know? and despite the fact that it was ridiculously hot in there by the time they were done (rocking out under hothot lights is tuff, guys), they got right back onstage and just jammed.
this was one of the best shows i've been to in a while. even though i've been seeing some pretty kickass music lately.
the greatest thing is that Ra Ra is playing the Double Door (just one L stop away from me!!!) in march and i'm definitely getting tix. yay! hi, Ra Ra Riot, you're my band of the week (maybe month!) i love you.
oh yeah, and i have the most major girl crush on Rebecca (the violinist). she's super talented, super cute, and rocks out with that violin of hers. plus i like how she sings every song even though she doesn't have a mic. it's cute. look, she's super awesome:
PS, as you may or may not know, Vampire Weekend's full length was release this past tuesday. you should get it. also, do yourself a major favor and listen to Ra Ra Riot. trust me, you'll be amped. (and for those of you in the DC/Bmore area, they're playing the Black Cat soon. check.them.out.)