Written by Ben Casey. Media by Bekah Dothager.
On Thursday, September 10, popular St. Louis venue The Ready Room opened the RAW Artists showcase, Bold.
RAW, not to be confused with the wrestling program, is an organization dedicated to showcasing new and emerging artists’ works, whether it be music, sculptures, fashion, hair, makeup, paintings, or anything in between.
The organization has hosted art galleries and concerts in over 60 cities around the world including Australia, the UK, Canada, and the United States over the past 10 years.
Union Grove is a band made entirely of Greenville College students. They blend a post-hardcore emo sound with their own unique groove. After a few hours of wandering around and observing the diverse set-up of visual arts, the band started off the evening’s music with an energetic performance. Union Grove has a sound similar to the later works of Brand New. The sometimes depressing tones of their songs give way to triumphant, even hopeful, choruses that give them an energy not usually found in that genre. This is definitely a band that could go places. Union Grove features students Jacob Kaufman, Ricky Lewis, Dolan Heard, and Robert Taylor.
Following them was the first show of blues-rock 3-piece called Rise Enigmatic. Despite some technical issues where a guitar kept cutting in and out, they really put on an entertaining show and displayed some impressive chops. The group gives off a sound and vibe similar to a softer, more reserved Black Keys combined with the songwriting style of Bob Dylan. Composed of only two guitarists and a drummer, Rise Enigmatic surprised with their incredibly full sound.
Finishing the show was indie-rock band Frigid Air, who showed just how fun choppy guitar tones and rapidly changing strumming patterns could really be, even if they didn’t have vocal melodies to grab the audience’s attention. Sporting only a single guitarist, the creative rhythms and relentless tapping give this group a very unique style not present in most forms of rock music today. The band, claiming influences from math rock acts such as Lite and Toe, give a sound similar to a more energetic, instrumental American Football.
With a friendly atmosphere that encourages discovery of new art and media, RAW is a powerful force for promoting new and up-and-coming artists. They give artists a chance to play at bigger venues in front of bigger audiences or to display their work in the public eye without fear of being cast out or taken advantage of. RAW allows local artists and musicians to thrive in their cities.