There’s little reason to go on and on about how great a concert was when you could just as easily stream it and see for yourself.
2017 has been a big year for Hurray For The Riff Raff. The Navigator has been seen as a giant leap for a songwriter who had always seemed just a step away from greatness. The critical response has been terrific, and it has led to big appearances on late night TV. Most impressive is that Hurray For The Riff Raff’s big breakout record may also be Alynda Segarra’s most personal, as she has now fully embraced her diverse roots. It’s a potent concoction of latin rhythms, protest folk, New York attitude, humbled soul, and uplifting pop. As big of a leap she’s made on record, Hurray For the Riff Raff’s live performance is perfectly in toe. As much as their last appearance in Santa Fe one and a half years left me stunned, Tuesday night was on a completely different level. Segarra’s presence was unmistakable—more confident, more empowered, more visceral.
Throughout the performance there was a serious tone of unity and acceptance, in a world that appears to be spinning out of control. Highlights like “Nothing’s Gonna Change That Girl,” “The Body Electric” and “Pa’lante” were delivered with an aching immediacy. Following such a powerful range of emotions, it was a real delight when the band brought Making Movies on stage to close the night out with a cover of “Dancing in the Dark.” That moment was an immediate reminder that no matter how serious things get, we also need to embrace the good times and enjoy life.
The last time that I saw opening act Making Movies was nearly five years ago. They were playing on a bill that I co-curated with their label The Record Machine. They were the only band on the loaded lineup that I wasn’t completely familiar with. They were wonderful that night, but it still didn’t prepare me for how much they’ve grown since then. Setting the foundation for a night celebrating immigrants, the bilingual latin psych band performed a passionate set that never let up, and included a fantastic rendition of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants Rule The World.”
There’s something incredible about watching an artist grow and truly find there voice while connecting to a bigger audience, and there was a lot of that happening during Tuesday night’s show.