DMV Local flavor: RDGLDGRN and Redline Graffiti @ 9:30


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I went to the 9:30 club Thursday night, but it felt like I went to a block party. The concert featured RDGLDGRN (pronounced red gold green) with opener and fellow DMV native Redline Graffiti. The best part about the night? The devotion DC fans showed for their local music culture. In a time when DC’ fast-growing urban art scene is emerging from underground to popular venues like the 9:30, RDGLDGRN’s performance demonstrates how much a strong fan base matters.

Redline Graffiti opened up the night with smooth electronic beats and easy-listening vocals. The Indie upstart has a flow familiar to The Internet’s modern R&B feels, and a name referencing a DC landmark only locals will known love. The breezy and memorable tunes such as Junior June and Cuddlebug made the four piece act a perfect opener for a night of DC flavor.

Redline Graffiti warmed up the crowd, and RDGLDGRN brought the party. Before the band came on stage red, gold and green lights flashed to the crowd’s chants. People sported their favorite member’s colors, from red headband’s to hats and shirts from the band’s new merch. Red played guitar, Gold bass, and Green was the front man on vocals, each receiving love from fans in the crowd. For a band starting out, RDGLDGRN did a commendable job gaining loyalty in their hometown.

It is hard to place RDGLDGRN in a single genre of music. The group is clearly based in rock, but Green’s vocals range from pop hooks to raps about life in the DMV. The blend of Indie pop rock with left-field hip hop results in a sound that is stylistically unique. This makes sense for the band who attributes their main influences to Bob Marley and the Beatles, two musical giants who are completely different than the sound of RDGLDGRN but similarly developed their own revolutionary styles in their respective eras. Not to mention, RDGLDGRN has a Go-Go vibe to their rhythms, a reprise of old DC culture that any DMV resident will appreciate.

Their fusion of genres has gained attention from producer Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Cold War Kids) who signed them to his label, Fairfax Recordings (Gotye, Tribes). The band has also collaborated with Dave Grohl, who did all the drum backings on they debut self-titled EP. The hip-hop side of their album a was picked up by Pharrel who proceeded to produce their song “Doing the Most”. RDGLDGRN’s first spotlight came when friends, family, and eventually local fans listened to their self-produced song “I Love Lamp” posted on youtube. RDGLDGRN just released “Elevators”, “Turn”, and “Elevators”, the latter the first song for their set at 9:30.

The crowd surprisingly knew a majority of the lyrics, and if you were just a casual fan it was easy to sing along to the catchy and upbeat choruses. The support did not go unnoticed by the trio who returned the love with an energetic performance and the most crowd inclusion I’ve ever seen at the 9:30 club. Green jumped in the barricade, gave out free shirts, and later had some decked out fans up on stage to dance with them. Hosting the band in their home city made RDGLDGRN that more hyped and celebrated. You could say it was the bigger fan base, but I think there’s a bit of DC pride there for a band this good starting up in our backyard. Thursday’s performance reminded me why local music makes the best concerts.

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