XPN Fest Recap: Hurray for the Riff Raff’s reflective, uplifting rock set rules the River Stage

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Hurray for the Riff Raff | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

“Well, my friends, I hope someone warned you, because this is resistance music.”

Alynda Lee Segarra’s words echoed out across the River Stage as the words YOUNG, LATIN, & PROUD shouted proudly from her shirt. And that was just the beginning of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s immensely powerful, reflective, and uplifting performance.

Not to mention, it was also a complete dance party. Because even though Hurray for the Riff Raff’s album The Navigator focuses on heavy topics of the current whacked out state of the world, Segarra has an amazing talent in fusing her anger into an infectious positive energy that makes her a force to be reckoned with.

Although the set was pretty much made up of a string of highlight-worthy moments, such as jams “Hungry Ghost” and “Living in the City,” it was the slow-building, anthemic ballad of “Pa’lante” that truly seized the coveted highlight title. Translated as “to move forward,” the song grew in power and meaning as Segarra threw her fists in the air, singing with a moving ferocity as she led the crowd in the resilient battle cry.

Sending the mood off in a lighter note, HFTRR ended with a cover of the “the only boss she’ll ever bow to,” as the band jumped into an irresistibly fun cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”– rattling all of New Jersey awake as their pride and joy’s tune rocked on Camden soil.

Setlist
Life to Save
Nothing’s Gonna Change the Girl
Hungry Ghost
Rican Beach
Navigator
Lake on Fire
Livin’ in the City
Pa’lante
Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)

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