Show Review: Chillin' with Rah Rah

We've seen bands perform at a lot of different venues this past year: Toronto's Dundas Square and the historic Gladstone Hotel. Windsor's intimate Phog Lounge. London, Ontario's Victoria Park at LOLA. The Majestic Cafe and Magic Stick in Detroit. But Rah Rah in the Vernors Room of the Crofoot in Pontiac on Dec. 15 definitely ranks as one of the most surreal.

So how did a six-piece Canadian indie pop band from Regina, Saskatchewan end up as part of the Crofoot's Wednesday "b*lite" programming ("Funk, Soul, Disco and Boogie" with DJ Erno the Inferno-- and autotune karaoke)?

Touring the U.S. without their merch, held at the border due to a lack of proper paperwork? Performing in their coats, hats and boots (we understand keeping heating costs down, but you could see your breath when we first arrived)? Because in between Bloomington, Indiana and Chicago, "We'd rather play than take the night off," said lead singer Marshall Burns. "We love to play."

And we loved to hear them (for the second time) and the songs from their two albums, Going Steady and their latest, Breaking Hearts. All four us-- N2D and fellow Radio 3 bloggers Wapuche and jojodillon. That's right: for most of the show, we enjoyed our own free private concert (not counting the bartender, a few random folks passing through and Rah Rah's tour manager) with the band named "Best Alternative New Artist" and "Best New Canadiana Artist" in iTunes Best of 2009 list, until a colourful assortment of people began arriving for the karaoke. No irony there. Unless you count Wapuche's karaoke rendition of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch."

Photos: Russ Gordon