Self-described as high performance rock ’n’ roll, RAQ has been going strong since its 2001 inception. With their unique sound, featuring complex song structure coupled with quirky-yet-accessibly lyrics and a healthy dose of full-band improvisation, RAQ delivers a strong presence to their allegiant fans nationwide.
Hailing from Burlington, Vermont, the band began with the name "Shadraq", but shortened the name to RAQ before cutting their debut album Shed Tech. The band’s unique sound developed while playing to ardent fans in local Burlington clubs. They started touring and soon expanded their scope to cover all of New England, eventually making their way to the West Coast in the summer of 2002.
Over the past four years, RAQ has taken the stage at festivals such as Bonnaroo, High Sierra Music Festival, Langerado, Berkshire Mountain Music Festival, Summer Camp, Gathering of the Vibes, Adirondack Music Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and aboard the floating festival, Jam Cruise. In August of 2005, more than 600 fans reveled in New Woodstock, NY, for the Lew-Au -- RAQ's very own festival. They've also sold out the famed BB King's Blue's Club, and most recently, the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. RAQ has just finished a 48-city fall tour ending with two sold-out nights at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, NC for New Year’s Eve.
One of the reasons behind RAQ’s highly successful tour past is due to their compositions being grounded in solid song structures, but still being malleable enough to go in infinite directions in the live setting. This keeps the quartet's devout following and first time listeners yearning for more as the audience is taken along on the collective journey. Their extensive repertoire of original compositions and eclectic selection of covers give the band the freedom to create a unique set list for every show.
On their latest album, Ton These, RAQ explodes with rich sound right from the first track with the anthemic and concise "Walking in Circles." Todd Stoops adds uncompromising rhythm and texture (keyboards, organs), Jay Burwick (bass) and Greg Stukey (drums), RAQ's unstoppable rhythm section, lay the perfect backbone for Chris Michetti's note cascading, awe-inspiring, guitar playing. Tracks like "Bootch Magoo," "City Funk," and "One of These Days" will have you signing up for the Air Guitar World Championships before the last note is played. "Forget Me Not" evokes the swagger of early Ben Folds recordings. "Glimpse" will carry you down the musical roads of your memory, complete with beautiful backing vocal harmonies courtesy of Aya Inoue. Much like their live show, Ton These is a multi-dimensional listening experience.
With age and experience, RAQ’s music has matured and evolved into a sound that is both retro and cutting-edge to a generation of grassroots music fans. They continue to tour relentlessly, infusing live performances, and leaving every ounce of energy they have on stage each night delighting the senses of the most discerning rock ’n’ roll aficionado.
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Nothing official yet. Check back here for official setlists.