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Ra Ra Riot 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SARAH CASS

Orchestral instruments aren't the weapons of choice for many club-hopping rockers, but Ra Ra Riot wields them with Boston Pops polish on The Rhumb Line (Barsuk), the Syracuse, N.Y., band's 2008 debut. The album didn't exactly come from nowhere; the sextet already had issued a superb sneak-preview EP and was distinguished both by privilege (much love from music blogs) and pall (the June 2007 drowning death of drummer John Pike). But the accomplished LP still managed to feel like a surprise, with song structures as pleasantly unpredictable as its symphonic flourishes. Mellowing cello and violin course through the nervy single "Dying is Fine," and the divine opener, "Ghost Under Rocks," turns those same strings staccato to deliver an exhilarating, up-tempo prickle. Ra Ra Riot plays between two acts from Ontario: headliner Tokyo Police Club, a hyperactive, previously buzzed Toronto rock band, and opener Ruby Coast, suburban Aurora's best hope for hype. Tickets $12. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

Ra Ra Riot with Tokyo Police Club and Ruby Coast

9 p.m. Tue., March 10

House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com


Dying Is Fine - Ra Ra Riot
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