The name “Rah Rah” evokes an inevitable and undeniable enthusiasm and intrigue, but when actually listening to the Canadian–native band, it’s apparent that there’s much more. In fact, vocalist, violinist, accordionist and keyboardist Kristina Hedlund insists that a live show typically is comprised of “lots of confetti, balloons, sometimes candy, a lot of instrument changing, but most of all, rock and roll. We’re all really good friends who like to laugh and love making music; I think that comes through quite a bit on stage.” That, and potential unique facts, like that the largest known star would take 1100 years to fly around on in a passenger airplane (also courtesy of Hedlund). Luckily, there’s an opportunity for Chicagoans to witness this whimsicalness, for Rah Rah will be playing at Double Door tomorrow night. Ticket cost is $7, and doors open at 8 p.m.
The swayable–rock collective, which also consists of Erin Passmore, Joel Passmore, Marshall Burns, Leif Thorseth, Jeff Romanyk and Dan Crozier, is a seasoned team of musicians, knowing at an early age that it was more than just an outlet in entertaining themselves.
“We’ve all been playing music since a young age,” says Hedlund. “Leif and Joel had been in a few great bands, but this was the first real band for Erin and Marshall and I. Erin and Marshall started playing together in high school and came up with the name completely randomly. Joel (Erin’s older brother) joined to help out with the first EP and gradually, the band transformed, adding me, Leif and most recently, Jeff. We just started playing more shows, getting a following and ended up making a couple albums, and we realized we might be able to play music in a more serious way, rather than just for fun in our hometown, though that is still a big part of it.”
Now with their third album, The Poet’s Dead, which was released digitally on Oct. 2, underway, it’s an understatement to say that Rah Rah is just a simple, yet notorious cheer. Rather, it’s a band with promise that expands longer than the loudest “rah rah” chanted. For the latest material, they changed directions and approached this more artistically.
“We really tried to work toward making this album a really cohesive work of art,” explains Hedlund. “In the past, we wrote songs pretty separately, and kind of threw all we had together in an album. For this one, we really tried to listen to each other and wrote all our parts together and shared our lyrics and tried to focus on one idea thematically. Gus, our producer, played a pretty big part in helping us learn how to do this, and really work hard and listen to each other. Lyrically, the album focuses on what it has been like as young people spending our youth devoted to making music and being in a touring band. The three of us all wrote quite a bit and all kind of explored the way tour and music affects us, our relationships, and our home, and what it means to be making art.”
Despite the deep connection Rah Rah feels to their homeland, they have fond memories of the Windy City.
“We’ve played at Double Door a few times now, and it’s always been awesome,” reveals Hedlund. “One time we played with Minus the Bear at Vic Theater, and it was an amazing show. Last time we were there, we got some amazing late night tacos and some person passing on the street called our guitar player ‘Teeth.’”
As there is never a dull moment in the lively Windy City, there won’t be a dull moment at Rah Rah’s show. For more information on the band, click here. Additional show information can be found here.