Roughly 40 minutes after the doors opened at SOhO on Sunday night, the main floor (filled by people seated with drinks and food) and area just beyond the stage (occupied by cross legged concert goers) were greeted by the members of RRIICCEE. First, Nikolas Haas (drums, percussion) appeared on stage wearing nothing more than a pair of sparkly red leggings from American Apparel. Following him, brother Simon Haas (keys) came out swathed in a similarly shiny ensemble (although his was a glittering grey top) with matching headband and raspberry-colored patent leather boots. Finally, frontman Vincent Gallo entered stage right wearing a fringed leather jacked and an unzipped pair of suede peanut butter brown boots.
And although the boys were received with applause as they approached their instruments, a hush fell over the room as soon as Gallo knelt down with his electric guitar and Nikolas situated himself behind his drum set. Simon remained standing throughout the show, and no introduction was needed as synthetic keys signaled the start of this evening of musical adventure. Roughly two minutes into their first composition, a deep kick drum beat and bass line dropped in simultaneously and the song moved from electro-driven to a sort of sonic flutter. The trio’s focus was impenetrable as they switched up who would lead each song throughout their set. Each leader seemed to tip-toe his way through the start of every composition before deciding he was on solid ground. But once this happened each number became strong, passionate, and fully formed. The sounds made by these three talented musicians and writers were laden with sentiment, often evoking thoughts of loneliness, loss, and unrequited love.
Although mostly instrumental, towards the close of the evening Gallo sat with his back to the audience and sang into a low mic while strumming an electric guitar, making for the night’s the most memorable “song.” And because of the band’s compose-on-the-spot shtick (that’s right, none of what they played at SOhO had ever been written, rehearsed, or heard before – and won’t ever be heard again), this particular number lacked a name. Nickolas’s drums played out as something close to military marching, and despite it’s timid and experimental beginning, it wasn’t long before the ditty began to take shape and flight.
In the end, Sunday brought an event that will go down in SOhO history as a night which will never be repeated anywhere else in the world ever again.