Ra Ra Riot, And The Kids, and PWRR BTTM at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, CO on 4/4/16

Opening bands can be hit or miss.  I usually have no idea what I am about to see before the featured band.  It’s kind of like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates.  I have seen everything from a Mariachi Punk Band (bad piece of chocolate), a drag queen deejaying (an extremely bad piece of chocolate), and psychedelic Motown review (a great piece of chocolate).  The two opening bands on Monday were definitely the good chocolate.  But they are Caucasian.  So let’s call them good pieces of white chocolate.


PWR BTTM is a queer punk rock duo who met while attending Bard College in New York.   They have catchy hooks, shredding guitar riffs, and fun lyrics.  The band wears glittery make-up and dresses.  It sounds crazy, but it all works.  Ben Hopkins plays guitar while Liv Bruce plays the drums.  Making things even more interesting, they take turns singing lead and occasionally switch instruments.  My favorite lyric is from their song Dairy Queen that states, “We can get so famous that I might get shot.” They shared their disappointment how Colorado legal marijuana didn’t live up to the hype.  Their expectations were Girl Scouts selling it in the streets.  Reality was they couldn’t find a dispensary that was opened after 7:00 PM.  The only thing disappointing to me was their set was only 25 minutes.

And The Kids

The Massachusetts indie-pop trio And The Kids played next.  Lead singer Hannah Mohan and drummer Rebecca Lasaponaro have been making music together since they were in seventh grade.  They definitely have a connection when they sing together.  Ben Hopkins from PWR BTTM joined them on stage to do some more guitar shredding still in his dress that he proudly stated was purchased in a gas station in Texas.   The two opening bands must be bonding on the road since they share the same drum kit and Lasaponaro was wearing similar glitter make-up.  After Hopkins left the stage, Mohan started to play an electric ukulele adding another distinctive layer to their sound.  They were also excited to be performing in the legal marijuana state confessing about recently purchased gummy edibles.

RA RA Riot

It was time for the headliner Ra Ra Riot.  They formed while attending Syracuse University in New York ten years ago and quickly found a following in the Indie Rock scene.  The six member band plays a mixture of chamber orchestra and synth-rock. Violinist Rebecca Zeller’s played along while an electric fan blew her hair in a dramatic fashion while bassist Mathieu Santos danced in his matching blue hockey-jersey-pants ensemble.  Lead singer Wesley Miles delivered his heart breaking lyrics in hush tones with the cello and violin leading the way.  Sadly, there wasn’t much between song banter.  Making me miss the opening band’s humor and rawness.

PWR BTTM and Old Guy

Walking out of the venue, I saw PWR BTTM joking and taking glamour selfies with the audience.  Making me wonder when they will be headlining their own tour.

See you at the next show.  I will be the one not in a dress.

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