Red City Radio came to Ottawa recently, and I was ecstatic. I caught wind of the Oklahoma City punk rock foursome while checking out a YouTube list of top 10 punk albums for 2011. The list included “The Dangers of Standing Still”, and featured an excerpt of “Two For Flinching”. I was instantly hooked. If you have never heard that song, do yourself a favour and check it out. Right now. I recommend checking out all of their albums, though it might take a little while. To date, the band has released three full-length albums as well as two EPs and three split albums since 2007. I can’t say as I’ve heard a lackluster or filler song on any of the albums. Anyways, after four and a half years of listening to Red City Radio in my regular rotation, they came to Ottawa. Here’s how that went…
I’ll start by mentioning that as far as venues go in Ottawa for punk or metal shows, Ritual is definitely a great place to be. There’s enough seating for a decent sized show, and multiple bars, so the beer is always flowing. I haven’t been to a show at Ritual to date where I’ve been unable to see or the sound has been crap. That’s a huge plus considering some of the venues that used to host punk shows. Thumbs up for venue.
About the show itself… You know how sometimes you go check out a band you’ve been listening to for a while, and then leave the show feeling absolutely disenfranchised with that band? You know; you get home, give away all of your memorabilia and put any CDs on coaster duty? Well, I definitely did NOT get that feeling after watching Red City Radio. I was stoked for days after seeing them. If I’m being absolutely honest, just thinking about that show now is getting me pretty pumped. It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the set, but I think it was when they played “Two For Flinching” and Ryan Donovan – the replacement for previous guitarist/vocalist Paul Pendley – stepped up and rocked Paul’s part; something I hadn’t thought would be possible. Lead singer Garrett Dale was sounding amazing on vocals, the guitar melodies and rhythm were tight, and Dallas Tidwell absolutely killed at the drums, which happens to be my soft spot.
In summation, Red City Radio is a great band to see live. Their stage presence is epic, the music is as good – if not better – than on their albums, and they get people moving. There’s not much more you can ask for from a rock and roll band. Get on stage, be cool, kick ass. I was thoroughly stoked on how many older songs they played – as well as lots of new stuff, and the length of their set, which was a little longer for an opening band (but not in a bad way). I sincerely hope that RCR’s initial exposure to Ottawa helps foster many more visits in the future.
Note: It may be poor quality, but I love that shitty cell phone pic.