On a cold, rainy summer night in Seattle, Hurray for the Riff Raff brought the thunder.
Alynda Lee Segarra and her band took the crowd on a wild ride of emotions at The Crocodile on Tuesday, August 2nd. Just as I remembered when I saw them last October, their live show was nothing but a bundle of good times and hard-hitting feels.
Opening the show for the Riff Raff was Nashville band Promised Land Sound, finishing up their 3-day ride with the headliners. They brought to the stage a foot-stomping beat with psychedelic melodies to carry them through, all while decked out in button-ups and bootlegs. It was a dashing look from the ’70s I never thought I’d see, but it fit seamlessly into the performance they gave. The four-piece sent the crowd into a time warp, which was a perfect way to welcome Hurray for the Riff Raff to the stage.
On opposite ends of the stage were two flags: one of Puerto Rico and the other representing the gay community. Even before Segarra stepped foot in the spotlight, her presence was already lingering between sets, displaying her pride and support for the people that surround her. With that, the Seattle crowd welcomed her with open arms.
The moment she said “hello” to the crowd, everyone was instantly swept off their feet.
The band started off strong and just became stronger from there, with a driven rhythm section and a booming voice coming from Segarra herself. Everywhere I looked, couples were swing dancing all over the floor, getting down with strangers-turned-new-friends; feeling the lyrics and melodies echoing in the venue. I had never seen the Crocodile in a such a way. It was incredible.
If I had to pick one thing I love most about this five-piece, it’s how they beautifully tell the stories of justices and take a stand against injustices through their music. Each tune has a tale – ones that Segarra has no fear or shame in telling – ranging from young love and mistakes, to the struggles that the people in their home of Louisiana have gone through.
It’s no surprise the performance that night brought tears to my eyes, a few more times than I am willing to admit. I was beyond thrilled to hear Segarra play one of my favorite songs, “Daniella”, from her 2008 album It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You, and was completely floored by the punked-out version of it she released on stage. Having originally come from a punk scene in the Bronx, she really opened herself up to the crowd that night and showed everyone exactly who she is.
Hurray for the Riff Raff ended their set with one of their more touching songs, “St. Roch Blues”, to which Segarra referred to as a “prayer” she and her band wrote for their friends and family in New Orleans. It was a blunt and honest ballad that served its purpose of tying the show together in its entirety, making the crowd feel the same collection of emotions that the Riff Raff has experienced, shared within each chord strummed from her guitar.
I take it as an absolute honor to have cried in the presence of greatness that is Hurray for the Riff Raff.
PRISCILLA GAMIT | 10/10 Would Cry Again | General Manager