Run River North Comes Back Reinvented At The Moroccan Lounge Be Sure to Catch Them On Their Spring Tour!
LOS ANGELES, CA- As the clock strikes 7:30pm in LA’s Arts District, a seemingly calm and friendly group of people line up outside the Moroccan Lounge. They’ve been waiting to see Run River North, LA’s own indie-folk rock band. Since their last release, Run and Hide, much has changed for the band. Coming as a surprise to any long time fans, the band has decided to advance Run River North with only its three original members Alex Hwang (guitars/lead vocals), Daniel Chae (guitar/vocals), and Sally Kang (keys/vocals).
Some might conjure up different reasonings behind the decision to continue as a trio, but in our interview with Alex Hwang (which will be posted soon, so stay tuned!) the decision was nothing but bittersweet. Alex explained that within a band- or any group for that matter- of six people, sometimes it can be difficult to all want the same goal. This time Run River North is coming back after months of songwriting sessions, collaborations, and even blossoming relationships within the group. Right there in the dimly lit bar at The Moroccan Lounge fans couldn’t wait to see what Run River North had evolved into.
Between the polished leather booths and bar food, muffled exchanges filled the room with comfort and anticipation. New friends bought each other beers and fries were exchanged between strangers. Common Souls, opening act and good friends of Run River North, gather attention from the audience with relatable witty humor translated in their music through soulful renditions of Rihanna and harmonious sing alongs.
The conversations during intermission are quickly hushed as rhythmic drums started to fill the room. The crescendo of rhythmic beats entice the audience of friends, family, and loyal fans to clap along. Once the members of Run River North step on stage, claps instantaneously turn into roaring cheers. With no introduction the band goes wild, playing powerful tracks like “Funhouse” and their newest single “40g”.
The audience transitions from chanting and cheering to shrill screams as Alex rips off his sweatshirt whispering “#RUNRIVERNUDES” into the mic. The room filled with laughter and bold female voices chirped “keep the shirt off” and “I’m into it” while the set transitioned.
While changing instruments Alex shared his disbelief with the show selling out. “No more humble bragging from this Asian,” he beamed, “We freaking sold it out! Amazing!” After repeating the word amazing several times, the entire crowd joined in unison by chanting, “Amazing! Amazing! Yeah! Yeah!” Needless to say, there was a feeling of unity throughout the room as Run River North played some of their much loved songs like “29”, other new music like their single “Rearview”, and their other rebellious, anthemic songs.
After a heated and wild start to the show, Run River North’s set matured from unbridled rebellion to a sense of becoming – in a way, reflecting the new direction the band was embarking upon. Alex and Run River North are completely transparent with their fans. During the concert Alex addressed a question that fans have been wondering since their new music came out: what happened? Alex reassures fans that although the split was “really sad”, all the members are still good friends. Alex credits guitar player Daniel Chae for “single handedly resurrecting Run River North”, explaining that after the band split Daniel went on YouTube and taught himself how to make beats and produce music, forging a new path for the band.
A mix of angsty songs, new and old, are played by the band until moods soften into a sentimental pause. The band then revealed the struggles of changing their name from Monsters Calling Home to Run River North. With so much sentiment and story behind the former name, they decide to name their new EPs Monsters Calling Home, Vol. 1 and 2. Alex explains that the new EPs are dedicated to “moving forward and taking what you can, to not live in the past and think that it’s never going to be as good as it was.” The unreleased EPs are filled with new collaborations and stories waiting to be shared by the trio, some of which we were lucky enough to hear that night.
With that message in mind the band starts to play “Growing up Child”, a song that has strong ties with the name Monsters Calling Home. Loyal long time fans sing together and fill the room with congregational voices rooted in understanding of the growth Run River North has faced. The concert closes with resounding cheer as Joe, Run River North’s former bassist, surprises the audience and joins the band for the last couple songs, bringing back fond old memories. Bittersweet yet hopeful feelings swell the room as Run River North exits the stage, leaving all in attendance pondering the notion of finding hope in transition and discovering your voice in a sea of doubt.
The “new” Run River North will embark on a month-long domestic tour starting tomorrow, May 2nd, in Atlanta, GA and end in San Fransisco on May 23rd. Be sure to catch them live when they’re in town.