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Ra Ra Riot is an American indie rock band from Syracuse, New York, consisting of vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos, guitarist Milo Bonacci, violinist Rebecca Zeller, and drummer Kenny Bernard.
Ra Ra Riot formed in January 2006, playing at houses and venues around the Syracuse University campus. They recorded a demo in February 2006. The band started to attract attention due to their energetic live shows, enough to gain an appearance at the CMJ Music Marathon, fewer than six months after their formation. Following this appearance, their live show received the first of several favorable reviews from SPIN.com, who called them “one of the best young bands we’ve heard in a really long time”. They went on to open for Art Brut and Bow Wow Wow in New York City, toured the UK twice on their own, and then returned as the opening performance for the Editors; they also toured North America supporting Tokyo Police Club.
Their first solo headlining tour of the U.S. was completed in 2007, and in early 2008, they embarked on a second. The band was also invited to play the Iceland Airwaves Festival, in Reykjavík, Iceland. They have recorded three sessions on the national online radio station WOXY and three for the acclaimed Daytrotter sessions at Futureappletree studio 1 in Rock Island, Illinois.
In 2007, they made their first appearance at South by Southwest and headlined a show at the Seaport Music Festival in New York City. The band returned to appear again at the South by Southwest Music Conference in March 2008.
After a show in Providence, Rhode Island, the band’s original drummer, John Ryan Pike, of Hamilton, Massachusetts, went missing under suspicious circumstances in the early morning of June 2, 2007 at Wilbur’s Point in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. His body was discovered the following day in nearby Buzzards Bay; Pike was believed to have drowned. Ra Ra Riot issued a statement a few weeks after Pike’s funeral that they would continue as a band. The investigation is ongoing.
In July 2007 an eponymous EP of 6 songs was released on the Rebel Group label. The group’s newest album, “Beta Love” was released on the 22nd.
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