On June 14th at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, Syracuse indie-pop rock band Ra Ra Riot kicked the hazy evening off in winning fashion. It was the opening night for the Summer Gods Tour, featuring late 90s/early 2000s heavy weights Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World. In fact, Ra Ra Riot’s 2008 debut LP The Rhumb Line came out 11 years after Third Eye Blind’s classic self-titled debut LP and 7 years after Jimmy Eat World’s defining record Bleed American. Needless to say, vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos, guitarist Milo Bonacci, violinist Rebecca Zeller and drummer Kenny Bernard were in some mighty fine company.

While patrons were coming in to find their seats, the band got things rolling promptly at 7pm with the track ‘Absolutely’ off their last LP, 2016’s Need Your Light. The ebullient and utterly addictive track is a prime example of Ra Ra Riot’s signature style, where an exuberant Miles can take mundane situations and add much needed vigor to them. It has a particular way of lifting you off your seat. The event was bringing in people of all ages since the headliners were huge nearly 20 years ago, but there were plenty of fans showing their love and support for the “younger” band act here.

After settling in, the quintet performed their eponymous track from their 2013 record Beta Love, a saccharine endeavor with a killer falsetto and enchanting arrangements. The electro-pop tune teeters on the edges of beauty and chaos. The band played their new song ‘Flowers’, which is lifted off their forthcoming record Superbloom, out this August. The song was co-written and produced by previous collaborator Rostam Batmanglij, formerly of Vampire Weekend, and it’s a glorious indie-pop track that’s light and emotive. It feels like vintage Ra Ra Riot with touches of their latest work sprinkled on top. Speaking of classic Ra Ra Riot, the biggest disappointment of the night was the band not playing a single track off 2010’s The Orchard. Although the group did perform fan favorite ‘Can You Tell’ from their debut LP; a stunning, sentimental effort and one of the many reasons why people fell in love with this band in the first place over a decade ago.

The other new single Ra Ra Riot featured was ‘Bad To Worse,’ also off the upcoming album, a fuzzy jaunt, breezy in most places, while featuring Miles’ spiraling vocals. The effort was recorded with Rostam’s fingerprints on it, and the results are wistful and captivating. Ra Ra Riot finished their swift set with ‘Water’, another Rostam-produced track from 2016’s Need Your Light, and ‘I Need Your Light’ from the same album. ‘Water’ highlights Miles’ falsetto vocals as the track floats on a soft bed of synths, light drums, and pensive melodies - the live performance was fulfilling to say the least. ‘I Need Your Light’ is my favorite song by the band; it’s an incandescent exertion that was divinely performed. Gorgeous vocals, rumbling drums, and deeply layered, ‘I Need Your Light’ is brilliantly luminous and gorgeously crafted.

In spite of only playing seven songs, Ra Ra Riot made the best of their time with a performance of pure magic. It’s clear reminder there’s still so much to look forward to for a band about to release their fifth full-length album.