Hurray for The Riff Raff made a tour stop for their newest album, The Navigator, at Denver’s Bluebird Theater Wednesday night. The venue was packed wall to wall with adoring fans. The lights went down and the song, “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” began to play over the speakers. The track, sung by activist and musician Nina Simone, came to be the anthem for the show with its lyrics:
“I wish I knew how it would feel to be free/I wish I could break all the chains holding me/I wish I could say all the things that I should say/Say 'em loud, say 'em clear/For the whole round world to hear. I wish I could share all the love that's in my heart/Remove all the bars that keep us apart/I wish you could know what it means to be me/Then you'd see and agree/That every man should be free...”
The band took the stage against a banner backdrop that read, “We’re All In This Together” and frontwoman Alynda Segarra welcomed the audience as the group flowed straight into their first song of the set, “Life to Save.” Hurray for The Riff Raff have become well known throughout the country for their roots-conscious folk music. The band newest album, The Navigator, tells the “cinematic story of a wandering soul that finally realized she needed to connect with and honor her ancestors.” Segarra, who is of Puerto Rican descent and was raised in the Bronx, has arguably injected this record with a number of her personal experiences as a queer Latin woman who spent years hopping trains and traveling as a member of Dead Man Street Orchestra. Wednesday night’s show was a beautiful reflection of her incredible storytelling capabilities.
Alynda Segarra acted as a powerful narrator throughout the show, performing numerous songs off the band’s new album while also incorporating songs throughout their entire four record discography. Some songs from the set Wednesday night included “Nothing’s Gunna Change That Girl,” “Hungry Ghost,” “Blue Ridge Mountain,” and “Living In The City.”
Hurray for the Riff Raff still have a few more stops to go on their tour. Check out their upcoming shows here! Need convincing? Take a listen to their new song “Hungry Ghosts” below:
All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.