A couple weeks ago I had the honor of seeing RY X at the Wexner Center. And the performance blew me away.
This came as a complete surprise. I was trying to think of interesting things to do during an upcoming weekend that didn’t include sitting at a bar or watching a football game (sorry, I will never care about OSU football) so I decided to check out upcoming shows. For whatever reason, the name ‘RY X’ stood out to me (and yeah, the fact that they were setting up beer & wine service didn’t hurt) so I took to Spotify to have a listen.
With comparisons to Fleet Foxes, Jose Gonzalez, James Blake, and Jeff Buckley – I barely needed to listen to anything before deciding I’d be going to the show. But, I’d been listening to his latest album all week leading up to it, and it only grew on me more and more with each listen.
I have to admit I missed the first song because there was no opening act, and I’m still kicking myself for missing even one second of the performance. There were several rows of chairs in front of the stage, and beyond that, rows of narrow cocktail tables with chairs on either side in sort of a sunbeam pattern, meaning everyone could see. The lighting was minimal and there were candles burning on stage. At times, you could hear a pin drop…actually in this case, it was a penny drop (seriously).
The first song I experienced from start to finish was “Deliverance,” a slow-building track that eventually features a sort of jungle-y drum dance beat. It was entrancing to see the quiet build up form into the end of the song. That feeling never went away. With each new song, I felt more and more entranced, wishing the music would never end, and I know I wasn’t the only one.
Tell Me that it's Real
The energy in the room was real—there was love there. You could feel how much the audience appreciated and felt the music. And what a refreshing feeling that is. We’ve all been to concerts where it seems half of the audience is just there to party and ignore the music, and that’s quite annoying to witness.
What’s even better about this is how receptive RY X and the band were to this. You could tell they felt good playing, and they were extremely appreciative over our applause. Hell, there was a standing ovation and they took a group bow together at the end! The last time I saw performers take a bow was at a play! Nothing will compare to actually being there live, but this HD video of their performance at a French festival earlier this year does do it justice. I recommend clearing your schedule in the near future for an hour to turn this on–make sure it’s in 1080 HD–pour yourself a nice glass of red wine, lower the lights, and tune outttt.
I bought the album on the way out, and it’s already gotten at least a dozen plays. Moral of the story: take a chance on unknown artists, trust the Wex to bring bomb acts to their space, and live a little.