NonCOMM Recap: Hurray for the Riff Raff delivers a powerful, thought-provoking set

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Hurray for the Riff Raff | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

Drawing on a powerful set of songs from their new record The NavigatorHurray for the Riff Raff used its performance at the 17th annual NonCOMM-vention to make the crowd dance, to make it think and to make it feel.

Frontwoman Alynda Lee Segarra is a dynamic and charismatic force onstage, strumming her guitar to the twangy folk of opener “Life to Save,” then putting the instrument down, taking the the mic in her hand and getting her swagger on for the driving and shimmering dreampop of “Hungry Ghost.”

The songs were stylish and had tremendous energy, but also took on serious topics like gentrification and discrimination. “This next song is an immigrant song” said Seharra, introducing the slick groove of “Rican Beach.” Its lyrics were unflinching: “And they stole our neighbors, and they stole our streets /and they left us to die on the Rican Beach. You can take my life but don’t take my home.”

“This record is a lot about getting in touch with my roots,” Segarra told the crowd, explaining its view on Nuyorican identity — a person of Puerto Rican descent living in New York — which was the source of the uplifting closer, “Palante.” “That word means to move forward,” Segarra said. “And if we’re going to move forward as a country, going to have to do it together, not letting anybody be bullied, not leaving anybody behind.”

Setlist
Life To Save
Hungry Ghost
Rican Beach
Living in the City
Palante

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