After a very successful re-emergence in the music scene and releasing their first album in seven years, Ra returns to the road headlining fifteen dates landing at high altitude in Denver, Colorado, Saturday night May 28th at the Bluebird Theater. Joining Ra on this early summer tour has been Above Snakes, September Mourning, and Stitched Up Heart.
After a short opening set from Denver locals Sharone, Boston newcomers Above Snakes blazed through a five song arsenal including nu metal anthems and ghostly rockers. Led by vocalist Johnny Skulls, the bands sound can be described as a perfect blend of Linkin Park, From Ashes to New, and Hollywood Undead. Riding high on the success of their latest single and video for “The Broken Ones”, the band sounded fantastic throwing down the catchy “Adrenaline” and debuting a new single premiering in two weeks “Living the Nightmare.”
September Mourning next provided a very black contrast with the bands before. The dark fictional grim reaper story is told effectively blending shadowy music, stage visuals, and several animated clips between songs. Frontwomen Emily Luzar becomes her character (September) on stage combining her haunting vocals, sensual movements and monochromatic underworld appearance. One standout song from their set was their newest single “Dirty.” “Dirty” was recently released as a NFT (non-fungible token) and the video was directed by Emily fathering the story of reapers and Septembers ability to the save the souls of the monsters.
Modern metal Los Angles-based Stitched Up Heart jetted on stage next. There is no doubt they continue to be one of the hottest new bands on the touring circuit. The focus of band live is frontwomen Mixi Demmer. The tattooed petite leader captives the audience with her incredible vocals, positive stage presence, and even her long flowing green dyed hair. She often crouches on the risers, bounces up quickly into graciously twirling her body, flipping her hair and banging her head. The band is still highlighting songs from the most recent release ‘Dakness’ released at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Their blend of metal, pop, and rock thoroughly standout in live songs as “Warrior”, “Darkness”, “Straightjacket”, and “Crooked Halo.”
There was a lot anticipation as the band Ra, led by the multi talented Sahaj Ticotin the band hasn’t made a tour stop in Denver, Colorado since 2005. The original lineup would not be on this tour, but Sahaj recruited some amazing young talent to the stage to support their newest release ‘Intercorrupted’ and celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the bands debut album ‘From One.’ If you follow the band on social media, you would know the band only had one reversal session before the tour began. As the band ripped into opener “Fallen Angels” right into “Rectifier” you would have thought the band had been playing together live for years as everyone sounded coetaneous as a unit. Sahaj and guitarist Jordan Mattacchinoe (Killakoi) traded lead vocal parts during the up-tempo ‘Supermegadubstep”. He even switched instrument spots with drummer Dave Perry (Fear of Water) during the heavy outro to “Jezebel.” A cool moment came when Sahaj introduced the song “Let’s Go to Mexico.” He talked about the songs initial meaning and desire to take a get away vacation to Mexico. He recently posted a link online to a unique interpretation of the song performed by the Norris Elementary School choir in Omaha, Nebraska. You can tell this was very personal and maybe forever changed the way he introduces the song in the future. Towards the end of the set, Sahaj had the crowd participate in a question/answer to determine who was born before or after 1980 then bursted into his signature cover of “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by the Police. The night ended with a couple staples from ‘From One.’ The oldest of the two being the epic builder “Sky” featuring the standout bass playing of Nick Villarreal (Sons of Texas) and Sahaj reaching those stair stepped high notes at the end of the song. The closer not surprisingly was the sing along hit single “Do You Call My Name.”
It has been easy to support a band like Ra and Sahaj through the decades. Besides creating the best butt rock music (Ok-his term not mine) he continues to respect and engage with the fans. Even though he has been very busy writing and producing for other artists, It was a treat to see him and this version of the band live after almost seventeen years. Now let’s not wait another seventeen to do it again. Ok being selfish there!