Rags & Ribbons open for Lydia

Written by on March 7, 2014

Last night at the Hawthorne Theatre, there were three opening acts for the headliner, Lydia. I will admit I was and am still not familiar with a majority of those acts. I went to last night’s show solely to see Rags & Ribbons. Before I say anything more about this band, I have to tell you about how I discovered this band.

Last year, I was accidentally the “94th texter” to this 94/7fm contest. All I wanted was to request a Walk the Moon song but alas, I won tickets to see the sold-out Alex Clare show at the Wonder Ballroom. Other than “Too Close,” I knew of no other song by Mr. Clare. Subsequently, I did some searching and did not particularly like the other material on his album. I didn’t want to waste the tickets so I ended up going to the show with a friend. The opening act was a band out of Portland called Rags & Ribbons. I thought they did a relatively good job and kept in mind that their music was (and is still) free on their website: www.ragsandribbonsmusic.com. So I checked them out over the next few days and I FELL IN LOVE WITH THEM.

Another side-note to the side-note: I have been in contact with the lead singer of Rags & Ribbons for the past week about an interview/in-studio with KPSU (so look out for that) and he informed me about this all ages show at the Hawthorne Theatre. This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up especially since I’ve been meaning to see these guys live again.

Anyways, Rags & Ribbons is a three piece alternative rock band that plays “melodic rock anthems driven by classically-inspired piano.” The band consists of Ben Weyerhaeuser (vocals/guitar), Jonathon Hicks (vocals/piano), and Chris Neff (vocals/drums). Their sound draws influence from all three members’ backgrounds and strengths. They’ve named Muse as one of their main influences numerous interviews and after a first listen of their full-length debut album, The Glass Masses , any Muse can surely attest to the similarities.

Last night, they started their set off with “Stand Tall” off of their 2013 EP Magnesium Dreams. They followed with “Rubikon” and a few other songs off the EP. If I had to compare this year’s show to when I saw them last, I would just say that their sound in Magnesium Dreams is almost darker and heavier. Nevertheless, this band sounds fantastic live and are able to effectively convey emotions such as nostalgia and regret through their performance – something not all performers can do well. Their harmonizing vocals in combination with Hicks’ thoughtful chord progressions and Neff’s spectacular drumming contribute to this unique and dynamic sound. While the crowd enjoyed the songs off of the 2013 EP, many were very pleased to see Rags & Ribbons end their set with “Even Matter” off of their debut album.

I stuck around for 1.5 more opening acts and wasn’t too impressed by them. In my opinion, Rags & Ribbons did an exceptional job of prepping the audience for the main act. Props to you guys!

Here’s my personal favorite, “Rubikon.”

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